Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "Britains Betrayal In India"

See other formats


BRITAIN'S BETRAYAL IN INDIA 



BRITAIN’S BETRAYAL 
IN INDIA 


The Story of the 
Anglo-Indian Community 


Ml.SU -CENTRAL LIBRARY 



19535CL 


FRANK ANTHONY 



ALLIED PUBLISHERS 

BOMBAY NEW DELHI - CALCUTTA 
MADRAS BANGALORE 




CONTENTS 


INTRODUCTION' i-xiii 

I WHO IS AN ANGLO-INDIAN ? 1 

I I ORIGIN AND GROWTI I 1 1 

First Betrayal 

III FREE-LANCE SOLDIERS 23 

Scholars And Poets 

IV DIFFICULTIES AND SELF-HELP 46 

The Age Of Ricketts And Dcrozio 
Some Worthy Names 

V ANGLO-INDIANS AND THE MUTINY 70 

VI THE GIDNEYAN ERA 87 

Betrayal Again 

VII WORLD WARS I & II 122 

The Burma Epic 
The Auxiliary Force 

VIII MY GRIM TASK 148 

Final Betrayal 

IX THE MIRACLE OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL 

SAFEGUARDS 195 

X THE SPORTSMEN AND THE SPORTSWOMEN 

OF INDIA 227 

Builders Of Key Services 

XI POST-INDEPENDENCE BATTLES 264 

XII THE SOCIAL AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL 

PATTERN 352 

Life-Line Of The Community 



DEDICATION 

This book is dedicated to my small but gallant 
Community which I have had the privilege to 
lead for the past 26 years in a tumultuous 
period of Indian bistory. 


New Delhi, 

31st December, 196?. 



INTRODUCTION 


O NE of the six politically recognised minorities of India, the 
Anglo-Indians face the future in a politically tumultuous, 
reborn India, set in a resurgent Asia, with hope not unmixed with 
anxiety. 

This is perhaps the first attempt to chronicle, fairly compre- 
hensively, the story of the Anglo-Indian Community. Several 
books have been written on the Community. Herbert Stark’s 
'Hostages to India' and 'Call of the Blood’ were perhaps the 
best written and the best known. Unfortunately, they are out of 
print. They also suffered from the defect that they only dealt 
with certain limited phases and periods of Anglo-Indian life, and 
failed to bring the account down even to fairly recent times. 

This book is something more than a historical record. I have, 
therefore, deliberately described it as a story. Important aspects 
of the Community's life, its social and psychological pattern, the 
considerable educational and cultural contributions it has made 
to India, the beauty and capacity of its women, the incomparable 
Anglo-Indian nurses, the indelible impress the Community has 
left on the military annals of British Indian history and the saga 
of continuing service to Independent India inscribed by Anglo- 
Indians in blood and in valour are some of the topics dealt with. 
The book is not intended to be an unvarying paean or glorification. 
The split psychology of the Community, its alleged social exclusive- 
ness, and, not seldom, overweening Community arrogance to- 
wards its fcllow-lndians are only some of the inhibitions that have 
been underlined. The Community also had a certain resentment 
complex towards the British. This characteristic it displayed in 
common with the other Indian communities: it was perhaps an 
inevitable reaction between a subject people and a ruling 
community. 

I have sought to be as objective as possible in my treatment of 
a Jiving subject. Inevitably, for one who has had the privilege 
of being the Community’s accredited leader and who has repre- 
sented it, virtually single-handed, in the central political field 



since 1942, complete detachment has perhaps not always been 
attainable. Above all, I have sought to avoid any deliberate 
bitterness. The fact that the past 26 years have represented 
perhaps the most critical period in the history of the Community, 
during which I have had to battle not only for the political but 
the economic and cultural existence of the Community, often 
against bitter and even seemingly hopeless odds, must undoubted- 
ly colour some of my views and writings 


Notable History 

Brought into existence deliberately by the British, used through- 
out British Indian history to serve and often to save British 
Imperial interests, treated for the most part in a churlish manner, 
this comparatively microscopic Community, which has forged 
a not negligible, and, in many respects, a notable history, was 
cynjcally betrayed by Britain before its withdrawal from India. 

The Anglo-Indian Community has been perhaps one of the most 
misrepresented people in the former British Empire. Since 
Independence and the exodus of many thousands of Anglo-Indians 
“ Britain and the Dominions, .here is, today, perhaps some slight 
awareness abroad of who and what this Community represents. 
But Use Anglo-Indians overseas, tthaleser Iheir ssumber, cannot 
* , , VCn a _P artla J c °rrect impression of the achievements and 
acrnal position of ihe Community in India. 

e average Briton or American who has not visited India, if 
“ ,° f ,h ' “»'™« ° r the Community, usually has a 

completely false ,f not £a„,a„ic, idea aa to our origin, stay of life 
and general position in India. 

a T" V ° f 0th ' r Indi "t “ftnuni.ies have only 

‘ vag ue, often misinformed even warped idea of .lie baeigmund 

to to l“ ^ “ d P™“ d '°"^ W 

foS "nd°iep d timatT^inL""-S’e m & n " 1 ' h ’''' k "" °!, 0ni: 

it* Phriefinrs — r • e , 1 ftc Community s attachment to 

^r^^^L d „lpS,,: l Sed^ 0r 

hs“" fi L°?:r ' h v v f‘" ■ nd 



cndogamoui, that ft, it hat married within its own limits, with 
the exception of those Britons who settled in India and who Usual- 
ly married Anglo-Indian women. In the mult, over a period 
of 300 years the Community has emerged as a homogeneous racial- 
cum-lingu»tic-eum-eulfural entity. 

Peripatetic writers in search of lurid detail and cheap sensation- 
alism usually hit upon the lowest specimens in the Community. 
Very often, the specimen was a low-caste member of some other 
community, masquerading as an Anglo-Indian and seeking social 
and economic betterment. From such specimens unscrupulous 
writers, in their desire to raV.e in the shekels and oblivious to all 
canons of journalistic decency, have often generalised in sweep- 
ing libellous terms against hundreds of thousands of members of 
an essentially fine Community. Even writers, in fact Anglo-Indian 
but masquerading as British, have purported to draw on the Com- 
munity for producing penny-shovelling exercises in near-porno- 
graphy. 

The achievements of the Community were not chronicled or 
publicised. - On the other hand, there was always a marked 
oflicial inclination to deny us the credit of our exploits. For 
instance, hundreds of Anglo-Indians won awards for gallantry 
in World Wan I and II. Some of them won the V.C., others 
the D.S.O. and a large number the M.C. and the M.M. Either no 
publicity was given to them or the awards were published under 
the caption ‘India-born Officer’. The names, being European, 
the reading public usually inferred that it was a Briton who had 
won the award. I have been able to salvage tlic names of at least 9 
members of the Community who have won the Victoria Cross. In 
the words of a we] ! -known British writer, Professor John Coalman, 
“Every page of British Indian history bears testimony to their 
(Anglo-Indian) devotion and valour." The Anglo-Indians have 
forged their achievements in the face of a chilling round of the 
most bitter social and economic disabilities. At certain periods in 
our history, our treatment by the British was not only deliberately 
discriminatory but advisedly repressive and even unnaturally cruel. 

This story helps to affirm the dictum of Lord Olivier, a well- 
known British scientist, that persons of mixed blood are potential- 
ly among the most competent vehicles of humanity. It exposes 
the pretentious nonsense spoken and written about the superiority 



of the so-called pure races. The Anglo-Indians have added a not 
negligible page to the history of mongrels, the most energetic 
forging the history of the moment. I am reminded of the words 
of the Rt. Hon. HAL. Fisher that, “Purity of race does not exist. 
Europe is a continent of energetic mongrels.” In a sense, both 
Olivier and Fisher were scientifically wrong. Cedric Dover, an 
internationally famous Anglo-Indian author and biologist, was 
more right when he said, “There are no half-castes because there 
are no full-castes.” 

American ascendancy has been the immediate result of the 
ebullient energy born from the multi-racial crossings that represent 
the American ethnic melting pot. I have little doubt that the 
British will show a fresh phase of resurgent vigour as a result of 
the present Anglo-Indian ‘invasion’ of the British Isles. In India 
the most virile races are admittedly in the North. They symbolise 
the accumulated vigour drawn from a succession of invaders of 
diverse races. 

Days Of Prosperity 

I have sought, in this book, to cover the main periods in the life 
of the Community. The first period may roughly be said to 
cover the time between the founding of the British settlement at 
St. George, Madras, in 1639, and 1791. Those were days of 
prosperity and great influence for the Community. There was no 
discrimination between Briton and Anglo-Indian. The Anglo- 
Indian sons of British fathers were taken freely into the covenant- 
ed ranks of the British services and reached the highest positions 
of trust and responsibility. Ninety per cent of Britons, including 
the most highly placed, married Anglo-Indian women. The main 
contribution during this period was to the military history of 
India. This was only to be expected, as the Anglo-Indian 
Community was drawn predominantly from professional soldier 
fathers or unashamed military adventurers who lent their swords 
to the highest, usually Princely, bidders. 

Indelible Military Impress 

The second stage covers the period from 1791 till what is 
generally known as the Mutiny of 1857. This was a period of 
calculated and increasing repression, political, economic, and 



social by the British. Misguided fear because of the growing 
strength and influence of the Anglo-Indian Community Jed to a 
succession of measures aimed to drive the Community out of the 
armed forces, to forbid it from going overseas for further studies 
and to debar it from entering the officer ranks of cither the military 
or civil services. On the one hand, this long period of cruel 
repression led to terrible unemployment and the economic debase- 
ment of a targe section of the Community : on the other hand, this 
period also produced some or the brightest facets of Anglo-Indian 
history’. Proscribed by the Fatherland, prevented from joining the 
forces in which their British fathers served and often command- 
ed, the sons, with soldiering in their blood, offered their swords, 
forged in the military traditions of their fathers, to the leading 
Indian Princes. This was a period which produced a galaxy 
of Anglo-Indian soldiers who have left an indelible impress on 
the annals of Indian military history. This was the period of 
Gardner who founded Gardner’s Horse, Lt. Col. James Skinner, 
the founder of Skinner’s Horse, and Col. Henry Forster who 
founded theShekhawatie Brigade later known as the 13th Rajputs. 
AH three regiments are proud units of the Indian Army today. 
This was also the period when the most powerful Indian Princes 
eagerly sought after and employed Anglo-Indian officers to lead, 
train and discipline their armies. Perhaps the most powerful 
military forces of this period, popularly known as ‘The Great 
Anarchy’, were those of Madhoji Scindia, the leading Maharatla 
Chieftain. A very large proportion of the officers in Scindia's 
victorious armies were Anglo-Indians, some of them holding the 
very highest positions of command. At this period, the Nizam of 
Hyderabad’s armies also had a large percentage of Anglo-Indian 
officers. Other leading Indian Princes freely employed Anglo- 
Indians. Thus at the early age of 25 General Bensley was the 
Commander-in-Chief of the Maharaja of Alwar's forces. General 
Jean Baptiste Filosc was, for many years, the supreme Commander 
of Gwalior’s armies. 

This period of bitter economic discrimination was brightened 
by the increasing efforts at self-help in the Community. This 
was the age of John Ricketts and Henry Dcrozio. In a sub- 
chapter, some worthy names in the Community have been sal- 
vaged by me, although I do not pretend to have touched even the 



fringe of the galaxy of members of the Community who deserve 
a place in the scroll. 

The part placed by the Community during what is known as 
the Mutiny was decisive. It may be a subject for controversy 
but no more than the part played by the Sikhs or the Gurkhas 
who also largely fought alongside the British. At least the Anglo- 
Indians were motivated by ties of blood. But controversy aside, 
the role of Anglo-Indian soldiers such as General Sir John Bennett 
Hearsay who was in Command in Bengal, General Van Cortland 
who pacified the Punjab and the crucial services of Anglo-Indians 
in key civilian positions such as Porjett, the Anglo-Indian Com- 
missioner of Police in Bombay who forestalled the Mutiny in that 
Province, and the supreme fighting qualities of certain predo- 
minantly Anglo-Indian units such as the Madras Tusilicrs who 
fought at the relief of Lucknow and the capture of Kanpur and 
Pearson's Battery from Agra arc facts of history. Even the 
cynically arrogant Cura on was constrained to say (in referring to 
the services, during the Mutiny, of George Brandish, the Anglo- 
Indian boy telegraphist) while unveiling the obelisk which stands 
in the Delhi Telegraph compound, "The Electric telegraph sated 
India.” Those words are inscribed on this obelisk. 

Post-Mutiny Period 

The post-mutiny period may be said to cover the years from 
1858 to 1919. Some attempt at amends by the British for their 
past ingratitude to the Community was sought to be made, but 
it was made in a halting, niggardly manner. The Community’s ser- 
vices were w elcomed but welcomed only in a subordinate capacity. 
Here, again, self-interest perhaps was at least an equally important 
motive with the British Administration. Without the selfless 
services of the Anglo-Indians the Railways, the Posts & Telegraphs, 
the Customs, the Police, the Marine services could never have been 
built. In a hundred years, India was covered with a network 
of railways and a telegraph system to which comparatively little 
has been added since. And during those 100 years the outstand- 
ing part in building these key services was played by the Anglo- 
Indians. Penetrating inhospitable jungle terrain which was riddl- 
ed with every form of danger and deadly disease, Anglo-Indian 
men, separated from their families and homes for many years, 



built what art today India’s and family at 

Indian railwayman vat !uct> 1 »f ' cu ' concomitant of their 
intervals of five yean. That vat a normal concomita 

near-heroic service. 

The Gidettjem Era .invrilird 

The period from 1919 « 1912 nay appropriate!. »• 
as theGidneyan era. In 1919 ^^o^lialmic Sur- 
Indian scene Coh— later Sir ’ ‘ h rnomenal memory, 

gcon of international repute, g'ltra _ , . . connoisseur's 

a connoisseur art-collector, a *l>on want ' wl( j t a record 
*V« for beautiful «omen and p „ more thin 20 

bag of tigers. Although often mail gne » .. community, 

yean of dedicated, fighting public sen.ee » unity . 

In place or disunity in the Ommunit) s > Cidrcy VT «ted 
living hts motto, ‘The Impossible »* increasing respect 

for hfs Community a place of recognition and mereas 
in the sub-continent of India. - n | n dia the Com- 

During the critical dap of poliuca too d pa rt. In the 

munity played its own, perhaps .^“wian Defence Torce and, 
Volunteer Corps, later known as t r mun i ty constituted the 

V« later, as .hr Axillary ro,cr,.h.^;J,. nc of dcr „«. 

overwhelming clement. This was j. nil drd of British troops, 
Dunns World War 1 ..hen India * j^T almost entirely of 
it vras the Indian Defence Force. ■ an d stability of 

Anglo-Indians, tshlel. maintained the seenn.y 
India. . . . fiehting forces during 

The services of the Community m the B any m uch 

World Wan I and II repmsen. ^ u , d justly P™nd. 

larger community anywhere in 

Independence And After ...ceasing struggle, the 

The period 1942 In 1950 marked a gn ^ r( . cosa i t i„n for the 
burden of sshieh fell on me, to find a P , politically hostile 

Community in an Independent and, basiea ^ ^ be.rajnd 

India. It underlined the final and sup British Adtnmis 

by the British Cabinet Mission nnd the depart, g 
tration. , _ , nd ia, British poliutaasts 

Ou Ure eve of their departure fmm In* 



viii 

entrusted with the transfer of power were so impervious not only 
to natural emotions but to an elementary sense of conscience as 
callously, and it would appear deliberately, to spurn and betray 
the Community. On the eve of Independence, when the exist* 
ence of the Community was trembling in the balance, even the 
modest demand for a single seat in India's Constituent Assembly 
was rejected Fortunately for the Community, although betrayed 
by the BriUsh, either from motives of unnatural indifference or of 
unworthy political expediency, it was given to me, by God’s 
grace and the generosity of the Indian leaders, to find for the 
Community a place in the Constituent Assembly and through the 
Constituent Assembly not only a recognised but a special position, 
in the Constitution of Republican India. Perhaps it is correct to 
say that this small Community of about 300,000 souls has achiev- 
ed a unique position in the annals of Asian history. Thus while 
the Anglo-Burmans have disappeared from the political scene in 
Burma, the Burghers from Ceylon, the Anglo-Indians, proportiona- 
tely much smaller in numbers in a sea of over 500 million people, 
have been able to find a specially recognised place in the Indian 
polity. It would be correct to say that the Anglo-Indians are the 
only minority of European descent to survive in Asia as a recog- 
nised entity. 

The post-Independence period was marked by an almost 
miraculous recognition given to the Community in the New India 
which was denied to other much larger minorities. 1 1 was marked 
also by uncertainty among a large section or the Community as to 
their future in India. It was marked by the exodus of an appreci- 
able number of Anglo-Indians. On the other hand, it was also 
marked by the outstanding contributions of Anglo-Indians to the 
New India. The decisive part played by the Anglo-Indians in 
the critical Kashmir campaign was but one example. More 
than 50% of the fighter pilots of the Indian Air Farce were Anglo- 
Indians : they helped retrieve by their persistent gallantry and 
often reckless heroism what seemed to be an utterly hopeless posi- 
tion and to drive the invaders b?ck literally from the gates of 
Srinagar. A large proportion of the officers leading our land 
forces in the Kashmir and Hyderabad campaigns were members of 
the Community. The late Capt- Eric James Tucker symbolised the 
spirit of service to Independent India. His was the only citation 



for gallantry to be read at the Republic Day Parade in Delhi, at 
which the Duke of Edinburgh was present, in January, 1959 
'Hie citation was a heart-jerking account of sheer reckless heroism 
in the face of certain death when he was leading a company of 
troops against Naga hostiles. 

At a special investiture held in 1965, the President of India 
decorated 63 heroes with awards for gallantry made in the field 
during the Indo-Pakistan conflict: 7 of the 63 were Anglo- 
Indians. By any standards that was a proud record for a micro- 
scopic community. 

The Anglo-Indian Community is essentially urban. Its im- 
mediate history during the past 125 years, when it was canalised 
into Government service, tended inevitably to give it not only a 
Government service complex but made it look away from trade 
and industry where it had once played a notable part. With the 
lapsing of the special constitutional guarantees, in 1960, affording 
quotas in certain Central Services, the Community has more and 
more entered trade, business and the professions to its increasing 
advantage. 

The Community is cent-per-ccnt literate. Although largely 
practical by aptitude, a relatively high percentage take to higher 
education. With the education trust created by the All-India 
Anglo-Indian Association, that tendency has been given a further 
impetus. In a sense, the opportunities for the Community have 
been greater since Independence than ever before. Anglo-Indians 
have, for the first time, achieved positions commensurate with their 
character and ability. Many Anglo-Indians, since Independence, 
have become heads of important departments. The Armed Forces 
are a significant example. From Generals downwards, there are 
several hundred Anglo-Indian officers in the Defence Services today. 

Post-Independence Battles 

In the chapter under the above heading, I refer to some of the 
legal battles that I have had to fight on behalf of the Community. 
Decisions were wrested from our Supreme Court, which gave a 
charter of educational freedom not only to the Anglo-Indians but 
to all the linguistic minorities. 

The menace of Hindi Imperialism poses a threat not only to the 
linguistic minorities, but to the unity of India. Despite the un- 



remitting hate campaign of the politically powerful Hindi chau- 
vinist bloc, English has not disappeared. On my private resol- 
ution in Parliament emerged what has come to be known as the 
Nehru formula. Under that formula English will continue to be 
the associate official language as long as the non-Hindi speaking 
people so desire. That position has now been recognised statu- 
torily. Nagaland adopted English as its official language in Sep- 
tember, 1967 Except by the obscurantists and the revivalists, 
English has been recognised as the last remaining bond of educa- 
tional, administrative, judicial and, indeed, emotional integration. 
The Supreme Court has put its imprimatur on my thesis that English 
is an Indian language because it is the language of a recognised 
Indian minority, the Anglo-Indians. The legal dictum affirmed by 
the Supreme Court is that English is not only an Indian language, 
but the dominant Indian language because it is the language of 
the Constitution, the language of the Supreme Court and the 
High Courts and the language of authoritative legislation. 

A grave threat not only to the Anglo-Indians but to all the minority 
groups is the growth of a fanatical, resurgent Hindu revivalism. 
Certain groups and parties make no secret of the fact that they 
tepudiate completely the secular ideal which was so passionately 
preached and practised by Jawaharlal Nehru. There is a latent 
powerful potential in Hindu society, especially in the Hindi States, 
which fosters the urge to establish a Hindu Rashtra or a theocratic 
State. The two-nation theory and Partition have given a tremendous 
fillip to the forces of revivalism in India. Continuing Pakistani 
intransigence and three acts of aggression have given increasing 
grist to the political mill of the revivalist parties. If like Pakistan 
India becomes a theocratic State, the lot of practically all the 
minorities will be unenviable. At best they will live on sufferance : 
even worse, they may lace calculated oppression. 

The Women Of The Community 
No book on the Community would be complete without a refer- 
ence to the women of the Community. They, in a very special 
way, have made a notable contribution to India. Free from caste 
and communal inhibitions, Anglo-Indian women have made a 
contribution to India’s nursing services that was unique : 80% of 
India’s nursing services, military and civilian, right up to Indcpend- 



xi 

ence was drawn from tlic Anglo-Indian Community. In peace 
and in war they served India selflessly. They set standards which 
were comparable with the highest to be found in the most advanced 
western countries. 

Few* nursing communities in the world could point to the ex- 
ploits of Helen Rodriguez whose almost incredible heroism dur- 
ing the Japanese campaign in Burma earned her the George Medal. 
Gloria Berry, the Anglo-Indian Air Hostess who was tilled when 
the 'Kashmir Princess’, one of our largest planes, was sabotaged, 
exemplified the spirit of the women of the Community. Her cold, 
calculated courage in the face of certain death earned her the pos- 
thumous award of the Ashoka Chakra Class I. She was the first, 
and, so far, the only woman in Independent India to be so decor- 
rated for supreme gallantry. 

No mention of Anglo-Indian women would be complete with- 
out a reference to their striking beauty. This has been the subject 
of comment by writers of di/Terent periods and diverse nationalities. 
Catherine Worlee who first married a Britisli member of the Indian 
Civil Service, Grant, and later Talleyrand, Napoleon’s Foreign 
Minister, as Princess Talleyrand was one of the most famous inter- 
national beauties of her time. She was not an exception. Neither 
was the beautiful and talented Kitty Kirkpatrick, who was the 
original Blumine of Carlyle’s ‘Sartor Resartus’. Throughout the 
history of the Community, in spite of political, economic and 
also social discrimination which was practised against the men of 
the Community, until the opening of the Suez Canal in IP, 35 the 
most outstanding Britons in India married Anglo-Indian women. 
Many of the leading families in the British Peerage, today, were 
fortunate to receive this re-invigoration of Anglo-Indian blood. 
One of the premier Duchesses, today, comes from a rather humble 
Anglo-Indian family in Uttar Pradesh. 

Sporting Prowess 

Reference has also been made to the fact that the Anglo-Indians 
have a unique record as a sporting Community. In spite of its 
numerical smallness the Community, both the men and the women, 
bestrode the sporting world of India like a Colossus. In hockey, 
India’s national game, its skill was outstanding. In the Indian 
hockey team that covered itself with glory in the 1928 World 



Olympics and put India on the world map of sport, or the 1 1 play- 
ing members 8 were Anglo-Indians : of the 3 spares, 2 were Anglo- 
Indians. In boxing, for decades, Anglo-Indians knocked out all 
other contenders, including the best that the British Army in India 
could produce. The first and, so far, the only Indian to annex an 
individual World Championship for his Country was Wilson Jones 
the world amateur billiard champion in 1958 and 1964. 

What Of The Future 

I do not believe that the Community will be absorbed or dis- 
appear because of some allegedly inevitable historical-cum-biologi- 
cal processes. This has not happened to the Parsecs, an equally 
microscopic community. Like the ranees the Anglo-Indians 
have a certain inherent community sense which in the final analysis 
will ensure continuing cohesion and identity. History tells us 
that after the demission of the Portuguese from the Indian scene 
the Luso-Indians rapidly sank w the social and economic scale. 
But unlike the Luso-Indians, the Anglo-Indians have, as observed 
by Bishop Heber, a surly community pride which is perhaps part 
of their British inheritance. This proper pride, which should be 
distinguished from meretricious arrogance, leads to a powerful 
identity of community thought and action, and a stubborn re- 
sistance to submergence and the loss of racial, cultural and linguistic 
attributes which distinguish the Anglo-Indians. 

The Community, today, through its schools is in the educa- 
tional vanguard. Anglo-Indian teachers are the best qualified to 
purvey education through the medium of English. The demand 
for entry into the Anglo-Indian schools remains clamant and in- 
satiable. The long and increasing waiting lists of applicants to 
Anglo-Indian schools have tD be seen to be believed. Ironically, 
the most clamorous in the queue arc the most raucous among 
the Hindi chauvinists. 

Through the Frank Anthony Schools’ Scheme the Community, 
today, has given the greatest hostage in its history to its future 
progress and well-being. 

Fortunately, the Community has a highly organised All-India 
Association which enables it to achieve an almost unique measure 
of cohesion in furthering its social, economic and civic interests. 
With its network of branches spreading from Delhi to Quilon and 



from Bombay to Shillong the Association has enabled the Commu- 
nity to make up in powerful organisation what it lacks in numbers. 
I have the privilege of being the elected President •in-Chicf 
of the Association since 1912. The Community’s problems arc 
many and the Association’s tasks are diversified and difficult. 
The Association is the life-line of the Community. 

In the words of Lord Linlithgow, one of the last Viceroys of 
India, “The Community has made a contribution of a real and 
permanent nature to India: it has produced many figures of out- 
standing capacity in the past and the work done by its members 
has been of real, lasting value.” Despite the pressures and the 
difficulties I have a steadfast faith in the future of the Community 
and the continuing contribution it svill make, out of all propor- 
tion to its size, to India. 



CHAPTER 1 


WHO IS AN ANGLO-INDIAN? 


E VEN the British in India had no precise appreciation of who 
and what an Anglo-Indian really was. Thus, British recruit- 
ment to the Armed Forces, even during World War IT, exemplified 
this confusion. One brother, because he was somewhat dark, 
would be recruited into the Indian Army: the other brother, 
because of his comparatively light skin, would be recruited into 
the British Army. The dark brother would receive his commission 
as an Indian officer: his lighter skinned brother — a twin perhaps — 
would be employed as a European or King’s commissioned officer. 

Often this discrimination was not the result merely of confusion 
but stemmed from a policy initiated at the beginning of the 19th 
Century. Vet there was, also, real ignorance among the 
British officials and their wives, cut of T as they were from social 
contact with the Anglo-Indians and other Indian communities, 
not only as to the factual position but, above all, as to the real 
range and meaning of the term ‘Anglo-Indian’. 

Outside India there was, and undoubtedly still is, a vague 
perhaps even derisive concept of the term ’Anglo-Indian’. A 
hyphenated designation, implying a community of mixed blood, 
perhaps conjures up a contemptuous vision jaundiced by some 
cheap novelist’s description of a down-at-heel, treacherous half- 
breed. But in India, both in fact and in law, the position is very 
different from popular fallacy or even the well-meaning and 
patronising British officials* vague notions, 

j Vame Changes 

In its application to the Community, the term 'Anglo-Indian' 
is of fairly recent origin. The Community has, in fact, traversed 
several name changes. The earliest names were not specific 
Community designations. They were more a popular description. 
Country-bom was generally in use. There was no stigma, no 



THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COHMUNITY 


derogatory sting In the term. It was fondly used by the British 
lather of his Anglo-Indian son. Indo-Briton was perhaps the first 
Community designation to be employed. After that the Commu- 
nity was generally known as 'Eurasian* . At the beginning of the 
19th Century, there was an organised move to substitute the term 
‘East Indian*. The petition presented to the British Parliament 
by John Ricketts in 1830 urged the recognition of the term 'East 
Indian*. The designation ‘Eurasian*, however, continued to be 
more or less current from about 1823 to 1910. Thus, the Associa- 
tion founded by E.W. Chambers in 1876 adopted this description 
as a Community designation. The term 'Eurasian* has been at- 
tributed to the Marquess of Hastings. An examination of this 
question, however, shows that Hastings did not, in fact, describe 
the Community as such. He was the Governor-General from 
1813 to 1823 and in none of his speeches and writings did he employ 
the word ‘Eurasian*. On the other hand, he did employ the term 
‘Indo-Briton*. 

As the term ‘Eurasian’ began to acquire a derogatory connota- 
tion, the Community moved to be recognised by the term ‘Anglo- 
Indian*. In 1897 the Secretary of State for India was petitioned 
by a deputation to give official recognition to the use of the term 
‘Anglo-Indian*. This was refused. Till then, this term was used 
to describe Britons working or resident in India. Dr. Wallace, 
however, founded what was rather grandiosely described as. The 
Imperial Anglo-Indian Association*. He is credited with the 
extravagant observation, “Britishers we arc and Britishers we ever 
must be. Once we relinquish this name ‘Anglo-Indian* and permit 
ourselves to be styled ‘Eurasian’ or ‘Statutory natives of India*, 
sve become estranged from our proud heritage of Britishers.’’ Lord 
Curzon was also approached for approval of the use of the designa- 
tion Anglo-Indian*. The arrogant Gurzon denied the request 
in typically Curzonian fashion, with almost publicly expressed 
sarcasm. In 1911, however. Lord Hardinge, the then Viceroy, 
sanctioned the use of the term ‘Anglo-Indian’ to describe the 
Community in the census drawn up in that year. 

Dual Status 

•In 1870 Parliamentary Statute referred to the Community as 

Statutory Natives of India*. Paragraph 346 of the Montagu- 



Vito IS AN ANGLO-INDIAN 


3 


Chelmsford Report classified the Community as Anglo-Indian. 
The Army authorities continued to define and accept the 
Community at European British subjects. This dual status 
was underlined in a reply made by Earl Winterton, Under- 
secretary of State for India, in the House of Commons in December 
1923, when he said, “For purposes of employment under Govern- 
ment and inclusion in schemes of Indianisation, the members of 
the Anglo-Indian and Domiciled European Community are 
Statutory Natives of India; for purposes of education and internal 
security, their status, so far as it admits of definition, approximates 
to that of European British subjects.” This dual status operated 
adversely against the Community in two ways. Although to pro- 
tect its economic interests, the Community was defined as ‘Statutory 
Natives of India', for defence and education it svas classified as 
European. Not only Indian hut British officials, when the ques- 
tion of the Indianisation of the services was being pursued, inter- 
preted it to mean de-Anglo-Indianisation. Indianisation was 
interpreted so as to exclude or squeeze out the Anglo-Indians. 
The treatment of the Community as European for certain purposes, 
especially for defence, made the Anglo-Indians liable for service in 
the Indian Defence Force, India's second line of defence. This force 
was usually called upon to maintain order during communal riots. 
Inevitably, its task was difficult. In maintaining order the I.D.F. 
incurred the hostility of the major Communities as often the suppres- 
sion of communal riots meant shooting down, impartially, both 
Hindu and Muslim miscreants. 

Definition 

Because of this unsatisfactory state of affairs, the late Col. Sir 
Henry Gidney, my predecessor-in-ofiicc, sought and succeeded in 
securing the inclusion or a definition or the Community in the 
Government of India act of 1935, which was framed by the British 
Parliament. Under that definition all persons of European 
descent in the male line, whose parents were habitually resident 
in India, were and are Anglo-Indians. Generally and also in 
official quarters the term ‘Anglo-Indian' was, after 1911, taken to 
signify persons who were of European descent in the male line but 
oF mixed European and Indian blood. Thus both in official circles 
and in the Community itself a distinction was often sought to be 



4 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO- rHDIAN COSIMUNITY 

drain. between Anglo-Indians and die so-called Domiciled Euro- 
of tah economically, politically and socially the interests 

subt 1,77 r'T ■ “• m " "" As »e“"°" tinder Gidney 

DoiLTr'wF d “« na "“. ’"Ebe All-India Anglo-Indian ,„7 
Domiciled European Association’. A large number olm member, 

i., "nSd" *>««. "»> 

se. ,n o„?tfcS V 7',' h ' dd! r” n *** Km ' An S'o-I"di.n’ a, 
made it clea 77 f ‘ " G ° v '™"’ent of India Act of 1935 

mnism, although i, continued to ™d rl ,7“'’ 7 "“T” 

' d E„ope 1 7r, rf ob v “» r :,r,,t7 , 7 , °:-- 

European descent domicile L i /"‘snomer. Persons of 

but not domiciled Europeans Intn, t , domiciIed Indian » 
British officials continued to main. ^ ° f * h “ c!car P 05 * 1 ’ 00 . 
tion between the so-called n • ° r ' en s,udied discrimina- 

Indians. wT “ d > b ' A "^ 

Europeans were, i n common with a ii S r 0 ^ nd ‘ arU and Dom, ' dIed 
burra’ clubs as country hom ,k Indlans . ostracised from the 
were usually given prrfe^ee' in 7h777 “ 7 midl ' d European, 
At most there could be one dm rna,tcr °f employment, 
namely, those Europeans whrf C ” f ! 0n of Doniiciled Europeans, 
were An 8 ,o.I„dia™ P “e de«„T J ^ ^ 

postulate miature or Euro-Asian i-iTT, 7 An .Eo*Indian does not 
pean descent i„ dm male “*■ E*" 1 ’»™ly requires Euro- 
I»d„. Thu, even L7mL7 ° f Pam, ° b *“'»l'r resident in 
'be original British families *,^777! *' ' ,hni = ™"des, that 

generations had no admhm.J r - . ^. Ind “ f °r two, three or mote 
Anglo-Indians, For ' ° f '" d '"' bl “ d "bey were and are 
fairly well-known author of'th P 'T“ E' 1 ' ■ I ° b " tbe 

JuncUon', who described him 7r ”' b " '" rid " ovrf ’ 'Bbowani 
European domiciled in I„d“ ' ■"° nd OT •“"> generation 

;‘ 1 “ »'te a large number 0 f«, 77 So 

t0 and achieved fame in A™, • ^ actrcsSM who migrated 

° A ™™ a “ d Britain. One docs not 


WHO IS AX ANGLO-INDIAN 


5 


have to mention the names of certain well-known actors and actres- 
ses, past and present, in America and Britain who migrated from 
India, Their pronounced brunette complexions — not ascribable 
entirely to the Indian sun — were and are a permanent testimonial 
to their Anglo-Indian heritage. 

Apart from being accorded certain special, even unique, guaran- 
tees in Independent India's Constitution, which came into effect 
on the 26th January, 1930, the Anglo-Indian Community was the 
only one to be defined. The definition is given in Article 366 (2) 
of the Constitution. It is, in cflect, a reproduction of the defini- 
tion set out in the Government of India Act of 1935. Article 366 (2) 
reads, 


"An 'Anglo-Indian' means a person whose father or any 
of whose other male progenitors in the male line is or was 
of European descent but who is domiciled within the 
territory of India and Is or was bom within such territory 
of parents habitually resident therein and not establish- 
ed there for temporary purposes only.” 

The Tar Brush 

As a one-time student of Anthropology, I have always been 
extremely doubtful of the validity of the ethnic purity claim of 
the so-called Domiciled Europeans. With intermarriage between 
Britons and Anglo-Indian women, which represented the marital 
usage for about 200 years, few, if any, European families in India 
really escaped a touch of the Anglo-Indian tar brush. But it suited 
the British historian, particularly when these Anglo-Indians 
distinguished themselves, to appropriate the credit for the British 
by describing the person as European or at best as ‘India-born’. 
Thus, when an Anglo-Indian pilot won the VC — his name being 
British — it was claimed that the recipient was British. But on the 
rare occasions when an Anglo-Indian was involved in a crime the 
British papers would take care to refer to him as an Anglo-Indian. 
Thus, in Fitchett’s 'Tales of the Indian Mutiny’ the gallant 
Anglo-Indian boy telegraphist George Brendish was described as 
an ‘English boy’. Even after the departure of the British from 
India, the tendency to filch the credit of the achievements of the 
Anglo-Indians has not ceased. Thus, fairly recently, an appeal 



THE STOS.Y OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

sent out to locate Miss Fitzgibbon, the daughter of Andrew 
4 u ",bon, V.G., to enable her to attend the Victoria Cross 
exhibition to be held in London from the 4th to the 11th May, 
1962. Typically, a journal entitled 'This is Britain’ described 
Fitzgibbon as the youngest ‘British’ VC, stating that he belonged 
to the Indian Medical Service. The Indian Medical Service was 
a superior cadre and, at the time when Fitzgibbon won his VC, 
a preserve which only Britons could enter. While one Indian- 
owned English-medium paper described Htzgibbon correctly as 
an Anglo-Indian, the then British-owned ‘Statesman’ carried a series 
of accounts of Andrew Fitzgibbon, the youngest ‘British’ VC. 
In fact, Fitzgibbon, who won his VC on the 21st August, 1860, 
during the capture by Indian forces of the North Taku Fort in 
China was a member not of the superior Indian Medical Service 
but a young hospital apprentice of the Bengal Subordinate Medi- 
cal Department. This 15-year old Anglo-Indian apprentice, 
while the troops were storming the fort, coolly attended to wound- 
ed sepoys and a doolie-bearer, in circumstances of the greatest 
danger. He was severely wounded in the process. ‘The States- 
man’ went to the extent of mentioning that Miss Fitzgibbon was 
last heard of when she was living with a ‘British’ family called 
‘Pewseys’. In fact, she last Jived with a family by the name of 
‘Pusey’: Mr. Pusey was at one time a Sergeant in the Madras 
Police, which cadre was reserved for Anglo-Indians, 

Blame The System 

The Community has been blamed for the twin defects of escapism 
and renegadism, of the albescent even the strongly sun-stained 
crossing or trying to cross the colour line and denying their Com- 
munity. Yet I would blame more the system than the individual. 
British policy, in fact the whole artificial Imperial Code, from the 
beginning of the 19th Century, placed a premium on renegadism. 
It was only by denying their Community that able Anglo-Indians 
were allowed to achieve positions commensurate with their charac- 
ter and ability. I could name scores of members of the Community, 
not only of the alleged Domiciled European variety but of the 
clearly mixed descent variety who achieved the highest positions 
as members of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, Governors of Pro- 
vinces, senior Generals; one became Surgeon-General to King 



. WHO is AN ANCLO-tNtltAN 


George V. They were lost to the Community because of a policy 
that was at least amoral in its rigid insistence on alleged purity of 
race as a passport to achievement. 

Herd Consciousness 

On the other hand the Community lias shown an intense herd 
consciousness. This is perhaps, to some extent, in imitative 
emulation of the social exclusiveness practised by the British or 
even to some extent an inherited quality from the caste-conscious 
British and Indian social patterns. Marriages were jealously 
conGned within the walls of the Community. It was regarded as 
social anathema to marry even a ligln-skinned, most highly placed, 
member of another community in preference to an cbony-hued, 
poor Anglo-Indian. Tor generations there has been no inter- 
marriage with other Indian communities. 

Colour has been one of the lesser determinants for the Com- 
munity. Persons who might, because of their extremely dark 
complexion, provoke amused incredulity at their seemingly non- 
existent claim to the prefix ‘Anglo* have over and over again been 
able to produce irreproachable evidence of European descent 
sometimes in the first generation. It is not uncommon for an 
Anglo-Indian family, within its confines, to exhaust the gamut of 
the colour spectrum, one daughter being completely Nordic, 
fairer than the average Briton, another albescent, a third lime* 
coloured and a fourth a beautiful, delicately framed brunette. 
In the Community there are also not a few whose sable hue would 
hold favourable comparison with the most highly polished maho- 
gany. And yet despite this kaleidoscope of colour, they have been 
blended into one cultural, social and economic group by bonds 
which distinguish them from the other communities and identify 
them with one another. 

In a sense, the term ‘Anglo’ may not be literally correct as it 
svould denote persons only of Anglo-Sixon descent in the male 
line. Inevitably perhaps, because the existence of the Community 
is identified with the British regime in India, the bulk of the Com- 
munity is of British descent: equally inevitable, perhaps, the- 
offspring of the former European regimes — Portuguese, French 
and Dutch — have intermarried with the Community and have 
been assimilated to it socially, culturally, linguistically. I deal 



\MIO M AX ASCLO-1KA1AS 


9 


pre-Indepcndcncc dap, were notoriously inaccurate am! even 
absurd. Even the Census Commissioner admitted that these 
Egurts were incorrect. Many Anglo-Indians, according to him, 
Verc wrongly returned as Europeans. His estimate, in 1931, was 
that the Community was approximately 200,000 strong. But even 
that estimate was patently wrong. At that time, there was no 
dear idea of the tenn ‘Anglo-Indian’. Even the official concep- 
tion was that any one with a light complexion was European. 
My estimate is that, in 1941, the number of Anglo-Indians was 
between 250,000 and 300.000. 

The Government decided that the 1961 census would not show 
caste or community except in the case of the Scheduled Castes 
because of their special guarantees in respect of recruitment to the 
sen-ices. This was one of the near-hypocritical offerings at the altar 
of national integration. Religion would still be shown. In effect, 
this meant that the designations Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Parsee, 
Christian would still appear in the census. The only community 
designation to be eliminated from the 1%1 census was that of 
the Anglo-Indians. The All-India Anglo-Indian Association 
considered this position and ultimately decided not to make it an 
issue. One of the main reasons that prompted this decision was 
the recent attempts at infiltration by the ‘Feringis’ of Kerala, 
svho claimed to have been of Portuguese descent but who during the 
whole British regime had nothing to do with the Community cul- 
turally, socially or otherwise and were classified as a backward 
class of Indian Christians whose mother-tongue was Malayalam. 
It was felt that the Community was still clearly identified by its 
mother-tongue, English. The 1961 Census showed 2,23,781 
Indians with English as their mother-tongue. This figure would 
represent almost exclusively the Anglo-Indian Community except 
in Maharashtra where a fair number of others, I should imagine 
Goans, also returned English as their mother-tongue. This census 
exposed the fraudulent claims of the Feringis that there were tens 
of thousands of Anglo-Indians in Kerala. The Census showed 
the total number of persons with English as their mother-tongue 
in Kerala, men, women and children, as being not more than 7000. 
This would make an adult population of barely 1,500 which would 
be the correct assessment of the number of Anglo-Indians in Kerala. 
I deal with this issue more fully in the chapter entitled, ‘The 



Tire stout or tue asclo-ikdiajj cosmusTrr 


Socul and the Psychological Pattern’. 

Hie largest concentration of the Community has always been 
in West Bengal, especially Calcutta. Hie Madras State comes 
nest : Maharashtra (the former Bombay State) follows and then 
come Uttar Pradesh, Mysore (especially Bangalore), Andhra 
Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh (especially Jubbulpore), Bihar and 
Orissa, svith Kerala at the end. The number of Anglo-Indian* 
m Delhi would not be more than about a thousand adult* or 
pcrlups Jess. In the Punjab the number has fallen toa few hundred 
as also in Assam and Rajasthan. 



12 THE STORY OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Portuguese and French origin in. the Madras settlement. As they 
were Christian, the British men preferred to marry them. These 
persons of Portuguese and French extract were, however, Roman 
Catholics. There was, inevitably, an increasing tendency for the 
British soldiers and writers who married these women to change 
their religion. At that time England was convulsed by the re- 
formation movement and was a hotbed of anti-Catholicism. A 
CTy of protest was raised at the Court or Directors of the East 
India Company which evolved a new policy. In any case the 
number of women of French and Portuguese extract available for 
marriage was soon exhausted as the number of British men com- 
ing out to these settlements steadily increased. On the 8th April, 
1678, the Directors of the East India Company thus addressed the 
President of Madras : “The marriage of our soldiers to the native 
women of Fort St. George is a matter of such consequence to 
posterity that we shall be content to encourage it at some expense, 
and have been thinking for the future to appoint a Pagoda to be 
paid to the mother of any child, that shall hereafter be bom of any 
such future marriage, upon the day the child is christened, if you 
think this small encouragement will increase the number of such 
marriages.” 

The Pagoda wai then equivalent to eight or nine shillings, that 
is, then worth about five rupees. 

A deliberate policy of avowedly encouraging intermarriages was 
thus initiated. A 3 a result or this policy the Anglo-Indian Commu- 
nity was officially brought into existence. 

Intermarriage 

These marriages were by no means confined to the middle and 
lower classes. The British secured their wives in two main ways, 
either by treaties with Indian Chiefs and Ruling Princes or from 
among widows and family camp-followers left on the battlefield. 
It was customary, particularly among the Mohammedans, for the 
soldier’s wife or slave girl to accompany him on the march. 
Usually the women were baptised and the marriage ceremony 
performed according to Christian rites. This period has been 
described as the ‘Brahminising period’ of English rule, when It 
was thought that these alliances with the local people would attract 
the sympathy and support of the Indians. 



ORIGIN AND GROWTH 


13 


As not only the trade but the territories of the East India 
Company expanded, the commitments, both trading and 
military, grew correspondingly. The Directors of the East India 
Company, inspired for the first time by visions of Empire, initiated 
a policy of encouraging Britons in the humbler ranks to make 
India their home. In pursuance of this object an allowance of 
5 rupees for every child was made to a soldier in the ranks. These 
marriages were not only officially encouraged, but were considered 
as entirely respectable. The offspring of these unions were usually 
well and often lavishly provided for. Many of them intermarried 
with some or the leading families in the British aristocracy who 
perhaps would, today, resent any imputation of any dark strain 
in their pedigree. 

Some Famous Names 

The history of marriages between distinguished European and 
Indian families would make romantic reading. More than that, 
they would either illuminate or darken, according to the point 
of view, the lineage of many of Britain’s leading families, reaching 
to the highest ranks of the British peerage and in respect of whom 
there has perhaps never been any suspicion of even a touch of the 
tar brush. A brief reference may be made to some of these unions, 
the descendants of whom either merged in Britain or with the 
Anglo-Indian Community. Job Chamock, the iounder of Calcutta, 
snatched a Hindu widow from the funeral pyre of her deceased 
husband and married her. One of their daughters, Mavis, married 
Sir Eyre Cootc, one of the most brilliant and spectacular figures 
of Clive’s times. A fact not generally known, perhaps convenient* 
ly suppressed by the British historians, was that Eyre Coote was an 
Anglo-Indian. Colonel William Linnaeus Gardner, ancestor of 
the Gardner family once in the British peerage, married the Nawab 
of Cambay’s granddaughter, who was also an adopted daughter 
of the Moghul Emperor. Gardner was nephew of the first Lord 
Gardner and founder of the well-known Gardner’s Hone, a famous 
regiment in Indian history. The Gardners are a numerous family 
well-known in the Anglo-Indian Community. Major Hyder 
Tbtmg ffearsey married another sister and granddaughter of the 
Nawab of Cambay. Heaney founded the famous Anglo-Indian family 
of Hearseys including General Sir John Bennett Hearsey of Mutiny 



]4 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

fame. In fact, these unions represented almost a marital usage 
of the times. Colonel Kennedy married a Rajput Princess. Their 
daughter was the first wife of General Sir Abraham Roberts, father 
of the famous Field Marshal Earl Roberts, at one time Commander- 
in-Chief in India. The son by this first marriage, and half brother 
to Lord Roberts, was in one of the Burma Services. Colonel 
Kirkpatrick, the British resident in Hyderabad, married an Indian 
lady and their exceptionally beautiful daughter Kitty was portray- 
ed by Thomas Carlyle in his ‘Sartor Resartus’ as the original 
Blumine. The House of the Earl of Duflus has descendants in the 
Community who take pride in the family name of Sutherland. 
General Sir Hugh Wheeler of Kanpur fame had an Indian wile. 

Such an account might include a reference to Emperor Ashoka 
and Thomas Becket. In his book on the Community entitled 
‘Our Reproach in India’ H.P.K. Skipton writes, “If ancient legend 
speaks truly Emperor Ashoka and our own Thomas Bccket were 
of mixed European and Asiatic race and both were remarkable 
and forceful men.” 

Walter Reinhardt, described by some writers as an unsavoury, 
even infamous character was, nevertheless, rather typical of the 
age. Through many vicissitudes but generally through ruthless 
fighting he achieved a position of eminence as a free-lance soldier. 
He and his brigades were in considerable demand by Princes of 
the day. Ultimately, he was taken into the service of the Emperor 
and put in charge of the Fort at Agra. He was known as General 
Sombre (or Sombru). Reinhardt died in 1778 leaving his estates 
and his principality of Sardhana to his favourite slave girl and 
second wife who achieved fame as Begum Sombru or Sumru. 
Much has been written about this remarkable woman who later 
married a French adventurer, Col. Le Vassoult, who committed 
suicide to avoid capture by his enemies. Reinhardt’s son, Aloysius, 
by his first wife who was a Muslim lady, married the daughter of 
General Lafevre : the daughter of this marriage married George 
Dyce, an Anglo-Indian from the Upper Military Orphanage of 
Calcutta, who was then serving as Commandant of the Begum’s 
forces. Of their children one daughter married Baron Peter 
Solaroli. The son, David Ochterlony, who was adopted by Begum 
Sumru took the additional name of Sombre. David Ochterlony 
Dyce Sombre inherited more than half a milllion pounds from the 



OMGIH AND GROWTH 


15 


Begum in 1836 and became the most celebrated personage of the 
■English season of 1838. In 1810 he married the llon’ble Mary 
Anne Jervis, daughter of the second Viscount St. Vincent : he also 
won a seat in Parliament as Member for Sudbury. A more 
detailed account of this con trovcrsial, maligned figure will be given 
when describing his contributions as a poet and writer. 

Elihu Yale was President at Madras from 1687 to 1692. He 
was said to be a wise and progressive Governor and was known for 
his generosity both public and private. Yale purchased for the 
Company a place called Tevcnapatam to the south of Madras 
which was duly fortified and was destined to play an important 
part in later history. The fort at Tevcnapatam, now called 
Cuddalore, was named St. David a Her Elihu Yale’s little son David 
who, unfortunately, died in his infancy. Yale remained in India 
for seven yean after resigning office and having amassed an enorm- 
ous fortune he left India for England in 1699. Shortly afterwards, 
he was made Governor of the British Colony of New York. His 
name is remembered in America, the land of his birth, through the 
University of Yale which he generously endowed. His tombstone 
inscription runs as follows, 

"Elihu Yale was buried 22nd July, 1721. 

Bom in America, in Europe bred. 

In Africa travelled, in Asia wed. 

Where long he lived and thrived — in London dead. 

Much good, some ill, he did, so hope’s all even, 

And that his soul through mercie’s gone to heaven." 

It has been said that Elihu Yale’s wife was an Anglo-Indian. 

Thomas Pitt was the second son or the Rev. John Pitt, Rector 
of Blandfort, Dorset. He was bom in 1653. While still young he 
came out to India but not in the Company’s service. He lived as 
a free-trader at Balasore in Orissa. He returned to England when 
still comparatively young and settled in Dorset. He was elected 
as a member of Parliament. Later on, he came to terms with the 
Company and in 1698 he was appointed Governor of Fort St. 

for a period of five years. His tenure was extended'so 
that he was Governor for the unusual term of 1 1 years. His 
Governorship was regarded as the golden age of Madras in respect 



16 THE STORE OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

of trade and the increase in its wealth. Pitt did a great deal to im- 
prove Madras and also to strengthen its fortifications. He was also 
a big diamond dealer. On one occasion he purchased an enormous 
diamond for £ 20,000 which he eventually sold to the Regent of 
France for £ 135,000. In 1680 he married Jane Innes at Calcutta. 
She is believed to have been an Anglo-Indian. They had three 
sons and two daughters. His eldest son Robert was the father of 
William Pitt, the first Earl of Chatham and one of England’s 
greatest statesmen. On his return to England he purchased large 
properties and was repeatedly elected a Member from his own 
constituency. 

These examples could be multiplied many fold. A separate 
book written about these unions would be of some historical but 
perhaps of greater romantic interest. 

Intermarriage With British 

With the growth of the Anglo-Indian Community the practice of 
intermarriage with women of other Indian communities fell not only 
into disuse, but even into disrepute. More and more Britons began to 
seek their brides from among the Anglo-Indian women. The British 
women found it impossible or were not even permitted to come 
out to India in appreciable numbers. The regulations of the East 
India Company at first prohibited the British women from shar- 
ing the lives, the hazards and the privations of their fathers, 
brothers or husbands in the India of those days. As time went 
by, every new arrival, from Governor and Member of the Council 
downwards, found a wife for himself from among the daughters 
of Anglo-Indian homes. Thus, there were towards the end of 
the 17th and the beginning of the 18th Centuries what were known 
as the Upper Orphanage and the Lower Orphanage. The Upper 
Orphanage Schools were aided by British Military officers. Many 
of these orphans were first or second generation Anglo-Indians, 
that is, their mothers were cither Anglo-Indian, Hindu or Muslim, 
married to British officers. There was also the Lower Orphanage 
Schools for the children or wards of non-commissioned officers or 
privates. To these orphanages according to their ranks went 
practically all Britons to find a wife. It was the endeavour of 
the promoters, “To render the girls agreeable and engaging in 
their dh^ortment so that they might make eligible marriages in 



OX! GIN AND CXOWTII 


17 


the settlement”, and the marriages were usually arranged for the 
girls at what would now be regarded as an extremely tender age. 
TIiuj, “The promoters regretted that several of the young ladies 
who had reached the age or 13 years and yet had received no 
proposals or marriage which the Managers could approve of.” 

The Briton in India at that period was no different from the 
Briton Vi ho remained behind in his own country. The moral code in 
England had reached a particularly low ebb. The Anglo-Indian 
Community has thus descended from the same stock, moral or 
immoral, as the British of those days. In some ways life was easy, 
extravagant and even licentious. In other wap the limes required 
rough, ruthless but also courageous living. Not only was the dress 
extravagant and utterly unsuiied to the climate, but so also was 
the food consumed. The daily menu was remarkably elabor- 
ate. The wealthier merchant had several servants: he usually 
had between 100 and J50 servants : the Jess wealthy anything 
between 50 and 100. Even a young officer during a campaign 
was accompanied by 7 or 8 servants, 15 or so coolies to carTy his 
luggage, his wine, his brandy, tea, his live poultry and his milch 
cows. Europeans and Anglo-Indians lived close to and were much 
influenced by Indian customs. Those who could afford it, ate and 
drank intemperately. The staple drink was ‘Arak* which was 
later replaced by Madeira and in the 19th Century by whisky. 
Not only the men but even the women smoked. The chewing of 
betelnut was a general practice. 

Vital Bulwark— 1 Velcomed As Equals 

From 1650 to 1783 India was tom by internecine tribal and 
clan i carfare. The confusion was made worse confounded by 
the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French and the British fighting either 
among themselves or taking sides with the warring Indian Chiefs. 

By about 1750 the number of Anglo-Indians exceeded the number 
of Britons in India. This increase was welcomed by the Company 
as it gave them the necessary man-power to draw upon. As the 
territories of the Company expanded, it became involved in 
warlike activities. Bound to the British by ties of blood, langu- 
age, dress and habits the Anglo-Indians formed a vital bulwark 
of the growing power of the East India Company. In the beginn- 
ing of the 18th Century Britain was largely occupied in fighting 



ORIGIN AND GROWTH 


19 

The government was centralised in the Governor-General who was 
assisted by a Council of about 4 members. By this time also the 
Anglo-Indians had forged for themselves a position of respect in 
the Administration. Many of them had literally fought their way 
by capacity, work and character to the highest civil and military 
positions in the Country. They were treated by the Indian popula- 
tion not only with respect but even with deference- By that time 
they had become perhaps the most wealthy and influential Commu- 
nity in India. Members of the Community filled the highest posts 
in the civil and military departments. There was no discrimina- 
tion, cither social, economic or racial. 

First Betrayal 

Discrimination and deliberate oppression were, in the next few 
years, to be the return for their vital services. There had been 
almost constant friction between the Directors of the East India 
Company and the Government in India in the mailer of patron- 
age and tire filling of appointments. The complex of greed, 
baseless fear and brazen ingratitude was to be the guiding motive 
of policy towards the Community in the next few years. For some 
time the shareholders of the East India Company had watched 
with growing dissatisfaction the Englishmen returning from India 
who had become inordinately rich, sometimes in a comparatively 
short space of time. A feeling began to mount that positions of 
responsibility and influence should now become the perquisite of 
the relatives and sons of shareholders in England and that appoint- 
ments should no longer be made by the Government on the spot 
and least of all to persons born in India or with an intermingl- 
ing of Indian blood. Motives of greed were fortuitously buttress- 
ed by happenings in the Spanish possession of Haiti. This was an 
island in the Carribean which had been discovered by Columbus 
and annexed by Spain. The French also gained a footing in Haiti. 
In time a large population of Mulattos, persons of mixed European 
and Negro blood, came into existence. The French supported a 
policy of liberalism towards the Mulattos; this was not, however, 
favoured by the Spaniards. In the American War of Independ- 
ence which came to an end in 1785, the French had joined hands 
with the Americans against the British. They had sent a number 
of their Mulatto troops who had fought side by side with the 



20 THE STORT or THE ANGLO-INDIAN COifMUNITT 

Americans helping them to throw off their yoke. Subsequently, 
the French resiled from their policy ofliberalism and joined hands 
with the Spaniards in seeking to oppress the Mulattos, and also 
the Negro population. Having once tasted freedom, the Mulattos 
were not easily crushed. Mulattos such as Ogc, Rigaud, Pinchinet 
and Banvais, rose in revolt and led the Mulatto and Negro troops 
until they had wrested their freedom and the IHack Republic was 
established. Several Mulattos suffered unspeakable atrocities. 
They were broken on the rack and were hanged before freedom 
was achieved. This event in far-off Haiti svas seized upon by the 
shareholders of the Cast India Company to reinforce their attempts 
to capture key posts in India for their sit-at-home offspring. 

By this time the British forces in India had l>ecn considerably 
emasculated owing to England being constantly at war. The 
canard was generated that Indian soldiers led by Anglo-Indian 
officers might well emulate the story of Haiti and drive the British 
out of India As the first step in this policy of monopolising the posts 
in India for themselves the Directors of the East India Company, 
under pressure from their shareholders, directed their first attack 
against the wards of the Upper Orphanage School at Calcutta. 
This school, which had been founded in 1782, catered for the 
orphans of British Military officers. Many of these orphans verc 
first generation Anglo-Indians, that is, their mothers were either 
Hindu, Muslim or Anglo-Indian married to British officers. On 
the 14th March, 1 786, an order was promulgated prohibiting 
practically all these wards from proceeding to England in order to 
complete their education after which they usually entered the 
covenanted civil services or became officers in British regiments 
in India. 

There was also a Lower Orphanage for the children or wards of 
British non-commissioned officers and privates. There svas a flame 
of indignation among the British Officers in India. Their sons and 
grandsons, reared in the sound and sight of cannon and amidst the 
dust and din of battle and sudden death, were now to be deprived 
of their traditional occupation of bearing arms. It svas pointed 
out that this discrimination was directed against Anglo-Indians 
and more especially against orphans of British officers who had 
given their lives in the service of the Company. It was underlined 
that any Indian could proceed to England for further studies and 



ORIGIN AND GROWTH 


21 


that those British fathers who could afTord it could and would send 
thet'r Anglo-Indian sons to Britain for further studies or to settle 
in England and that this order was wanton and heartless. The 
shareholders, however, won the day. In fact, this lint victory 
merely whetted their appetite for still further oppression and ex- 
propriation of worthwhile cadres in India. Increasing pressure 
was brought by the shareholders on the Directors of the East India 
Company until in 1791 they resolved that persons of Indian extraction 
svere precluded from employment as officers in the Civil, Military 
or Marine services of the Company. This prohibition was publish- 
ed in the Calcutta Gazette or the 14th June, 1792. Thus a blanket 
embargo was placed on Anglo-Indians entering the official cadres 
of the civil and military services. 

The appetite of the shareholders grew with feeding. Worse was 
to follow. Not satisfied with closing the officers cadres to the 
Anglo-Indians, the shareholders felt that they must go a step 
further if their policy was to be completely successful. The 
Government in India represented by the Govemor-General-in- 
Council had fought successively losing battles and ultimately suc- 
cumbed in 1795. The Govemor-Gcneral-i'n-Coundl was prevail- 
ed upon or compelled to pass a resolution by which all persons 
unless descended from European parents on both sides were dis- 
qualified from service in the army except as fifers, drummers, 
bandsmen and farriers, that is as non-combatants. In the words 
of Herbert Stark, “Within a brief period of 1 0 years, lying between 
1786 and 1795, by the standing orders of the Great East India 
Company Anglo-Indians had been reduced to the status of a pro- 
scribed and down-trodden race.” This policy was immediately 
Implemented and Anglo-Indians were discharged en masse from 
official positions in the civil service and the army. 

Apparently conscience was not part of the make-up of the 
Directors or the East India Company. As soon as Anglo-Indians 
had served their purpose in the Maratha War of 1803 they were 
faced with the final blow. One Viscount Valentia had been 
commissioned by the East India Company to visit their possessions 
between the period 1802 to 1806. His visit coincided with the 
currents or suspicion and nervousness that had been generated 
against the Anglo-Indians by what had happened in far-off Haiti. 
In 1806 Lord Valentia with the assumed authority, which globe- 



22 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


trotters usually arrogate to themselves, without any real know- 
ledge or experience of the subject he was treating wrote as follows, 
“The most rapidly accumulating evil of Bengal is the increase of 
half-caste children. They are forming the Erst step to colonisa- 
tion by creating a link of union between the English and the 
natives. In every country where this intermediate caste has been 


permitted to rise, it has ultimately tended to its ruin. Spanish- 
America and San Domingo are examples of this fact. Their in- 
crease in India is beyond calculation : and though possibly there 
may be nothing to fear from the sloth of the Hindus, and the rapidly 
declining consequence of Musalmans, yet it may be justly ap- 
prehended that this tribe may hereafter become too powerful for 
control. Although they are not permitted to hold offices under the 
Company, yet they act as clerks in almost every mercantile house; 
and many of them are annually sent to England to receive the 
benefit of an European education. With numbers in their favour, 
with a close relationship to the natives, and without an equal pro- 
portion or the pusillanimity and indolence which is natural to 
than, what may not in future time be dreaded from them!" 

n the basis of that criminally ignorant report, an order was 
issued in 1808 discharging Anglo-Indians from all ranks of the 
sh Thc first act of betrayal of the Community 

was ruthlessly implemented. Yet another major blot was thus 
^ ° n already shame-scarred escutcheon of 

D™„„ of the Company. Thereafter a denre, impregnable 
Annin wr* an cconomic discrimination was drawn around the 
Mg o.I„d,,„ Some ereaped by claiming be Eorepean. They 

XS l “"' i A 1— - 5- *— 



chapter m 


FREE-LANCE SOLDIERS 
Scholars and Poets 


B ETRAYED by the Administration, driven out of the sendees, 
Anglo-Indians nurtured in the profession of arms followed the 
only course open to them. They offered their services to the 
Indian Princes and to soldiers of fortune. The Maharatta Chief- 
tains, the Nizam or Hyderabad, the Nawabs of Bengal and Oudb, 
the famous Tippu Sultan of Mysore, the Rajas of Rajputana, the 
Jat Chiefs of Agra, Bharatpur and Alwar, and Ranjit Singh, 
the Lion of the Punjab, welcomed the Anglo-Indians as officers. 
Madhoji Scindia, who founded the Gwalior dynasty and built up 
the most powerful princely army of the time, employed a large 
number of Anglo-Indian officers to train and lead his soldiers. 
Anglo-Indians also joined free-lances such as the turbulent Irish- 
man Raja Ccorge Thomas. Others raised their own Corps of 
infantry and cavalry. 

This was the period of Indian history which has been described 
as 'The Great Anarchy’. At that time India was tom with inter- 
necine strife. The power of the Mughals had crumbled and the 
Country was overrun by Chieftains and Warlords. Because of the 
military genius of Gen. Count dcBoigne, Commander-in-Chief 
of Madhoji Scindia* s armies, the power of Scindia had spread over 
the greater part of Hindustan from the Nerbudda to the Sutlej. 
Hundreds of thousands of floating soldiery transferred their allegi- 
ance according to the prospects of loot and plunder. 

The territories even of the most powerful Princes such as Scindia 
and Holkar never had any real peace. The peasantry enjoyed 
neither security of person nor of property. The forces of the 
Maharatta Chiefs were constantly out in detachments raising armies, 
reducing forts or punisliing refractory officers or zamindars all 
over Rajputana, Malwa and Bhopal. The system of plunder in- 
dulged in by the leading Princes inevitably encouraged local 



24 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

populations, which were predisposed to marauding, to take to 
plundering the Country. In fact, most of the Princes encouraged 
such marauding bands as affording additional means for enlarg- 
ing their own sphere of military plunder. As a result, before 1814 
the Country was overrun by predatory bands, known as the Pindaris, 
who systematically ravaged every district from the Krishna to the 
Marwar desert. In 1814 they were estimated to consist of about 
a hundred thousand horsemen of all sorts and conditions. Treacher- 
ous, indulging in every form of barbarity, these banditti laid waste 
the Country with fire and sword. 

James Skinner 

A detailed account of Anglo-Indian soldiers of this period would 
make thrilling reading. This was the period of Lt. Col. James 
Skinner. An almost fabulous figure, he raised Skinner’s Hone 
which achieved world fame. It continues till today as one of 
India’s finest units. The tradition has also continued of associat- 
ing one of Skinner's descendants with this famous regiment. This 
is not the place to give any biographical sketch of Skinner. A 
brief reference will have to be sufficient. James Skinner was bom 
in 1778 and was the son of a Scotsman, Ensign Hercules Skinner, 
who rose to the rank of Lt. Col. His mother was the daughter of 
a Rajput Zamindar: she had been taken prisoner at the age of 14 
during the war with Raja Cheit Singh. Of the three sons, David 
went to sea and James and Robert distinguished themselves as 
soldiers. On the mother’s death the boys were sent to a charity 
school. From there they were removed to a boarding school. 
James was subsequently apprenuced to a printer in Calcutta. 
Disgusted with the unimaginative chores of the printer’s trade, he 
ran away with the intention of going to sea For six days he 
wandered in the bazaars offering to work for anyone tv ho would hire 
him. Surprised by a servant of his elder sister’s household, he was 
taken home and duly chastised He was then put to copy law 
papers in his brother-in-law’s office and in return received his food. 
After about three months Skinner was visited by his godfather, 
Col. Bum, who, finding that the young lad’s heart was set on soldier- 
ing, gave him a letter of introduction to General deBoigne, the 
Commander-in-Chief of Madhoji Scindia's armies. 

Skinner soon became efficient partknfaaty iw she \»t e£ the sword 



rREE-LANCT. SOLDI FJIS 


25 


and the lance. In recognition of his valour at the battle of Chand- 
kori General Perron, who had succeeded deBoigne, promoted him 
to the rank of Lieutenant. At the siege of Cliinor Skinner saved 
Sdndta’s life. To express his gratitude, the Maharaja held a 
special Durbar at which, after embracing Skinner, presented him 
with a charger, a sword, a shield and a pair of gold bangles set 
with diamonds. Skinner’s valour won him further laurels. He 
was promoted to be a Captain and his brother Robert, who re- 
ceived a Commission from Perron, was appointed to his Corps. In 
an encounter with the army of the Raja of Oonercali, Madhoji 
Scindia’s soldiers deserted him : Skinner’s I lorsc alone remained loyal. 
In the battle Skinner was shot through the groin and left on the 
field with more than a thousand of his slain sol diers. Skinnrrhasleft 
a graphic account, in Persian, of the terrible'suflerings of that night. 

Skinner records that Jaswant Rao Holkar, one of the leading 
Maharatta Chiefs, was always jealous of Scindia’s power. Holkar 
raised an army and attacked part of Scindia’s forces which were 
led by Colonel Hessing, an Anglo-Indian officer. Hessing’s brigade 
which had become detached from the main body of Scindia's forces 
was surrounded and cut to pieces by Holkar’s army after putting 
up a gallant resistance for 15 days. Skinner records that in this 
encounter 16 Anglo-Indian officers were killed: many of them 
had been to school with him. 

At this time events were moving to the culmination, in 1803, of 
war between the British and the Maharattas. The Maharatta 
Chieftains had enormous forces at their disposal. On behalf of 
Scindia Perron himself commanded sixteen to seventeen thousand 
regular infantry, fifteen to twenty thousand cavalry and the usual 
complement of artillery. Had the Maharattas not been divided 
by their age-long rivalries and feuds, they could have mustered a 
force two hundred to three hundred thousand strong. When Lord 
Wellesley declared war against the Maharattas, all Anglo-Indian 
and British officers serving with any Maharatta Prince were order- 
ed to leave. Skinner was among those officers. lVhile being dis- 
missed, however, from the Maharaja’s service, he protested against 
his dismissal. He was completely Indian in the sense that he 
had been brought up among and served with Indians. He had no 
ties with Britain. His father was dead and his brother had been 
given a Commission by Begum Sumru. In fact, he had little con- 



26 tiie stort or the ancumndi.w cmmuNirr 

fidence in British faith. Finally, he was persuaded by liis fellow- 
officers to meet Lord Lake, the Commander-in-Chief of the British 
forces. He was treated with extreme cordiality and offered a 
Command by Lord Lake and given the right to raise a troop of 
horse. Skinner, however, had a deep sense of loyalty. One of 
the terms which he insisted on ssas that he would not fight Ins old 
comrades-in-arms: nobody would draw sword against Madhoji 
Scindia, whose salt he liad eaten, or Perron under whom he had 
served. Ultimately, Skinner became a great favourite with Lord 
Lake. He formed his Corps of cavalry from a body of Perron’s 
men who had served under him. The men, in fact, insisted on 
serving under ‘Sikander Sahib', as James Skinner was known. 
‘Sikander* was a corruption of Alexander, the reference being to 
Alexander the Great. 

Skinner's first action under the British colours covered his Corps 
svith glory. Having captured the fort of Malaghur from Madho 
Rao, he was congratulated by Lord Lake and placed in general 
command of the country between Aligarh and Delhi. During that 
period with only COO men he cut up about 5000 Sikhs at Saharan- 
pur and made prisoners of the confederate Chiefs who had assembl- 
ed on the banks of the Jumna. 

Because of the jealousies existing among the Maharatta Chiefs, 
all their schemes for unity came io naught. Scindia and Holkar, 
in spite of efforts to unite, failed to do so. Ranjit Singh of Lahore 
also backed out from supporting Scindia. Holkar, Bltonsle, who 
was Maharaja of Nagpur, and Scindia, although promising to work 
together never did so and were destroyed one by one by the British. 
The regular brigades received no assistance from the cavalry and 
were, during the battles, deserted by the officers who led them. It 
is interesting to reflect that had the Anglo-Indian officers, who had 
distinguished themselves in the service of the Maharatta Chiefs, 
remained to lead the otherwise courageous Maharatta soldiery, 
the history or British arms in India might well have l>ecn different- 
ly written. Holkar first tortured and then barbarically put to death 
eight or his best officers. The most eminent of these was Col. 
Vickers, an Anglo-Indian, who was mainly responsible for Hotkar's 
victory over the Peshwa’s army at Poona on the 25th October, 
1002. Vickers Kith seven officers, all Anglo-Indians, were beheaded 
in one day. 



27 


F»rr-LASCX S0U5TEXS 

Lord Lake met the remnants orScindia’s forces and afler a bloody 
battle totally destroyed them. 

Skinner and his men saw considerable service against Amir Mian, 
the most powerful of the predatory Chiefs of this period. In an 
encounter with his forces, Robert Skinner displayed particular 
gallantry. Lord Lake sent a letter in Tenian to tl.e Corps 
commending their services. Skinner’s Horse covered itself vmh to 
much glorv that when they were passing through Delhi, the 
Resident, Col. (afterwards General Sir) David Oehtrrlony, impret- 
ed than and unbuckling his rword gave it to their Corps Commander. 
JmraSlimrer. On the 19th Drorml*r, 1805, Hollar anti httiijit 
Singh mctl for tetnu. Injanoaty, 1806. at the md of the campaign 
*11 the irregular troops Mere ditelutrged. Slinner’l svas the only 
Corps of irregular cavalry that was retained and made permanent 
as a reward for their courageous and faithful service. 

On Lord Cornwallis’ death in Ghazipur, in 1C05, his successor 
Sir George Barlow ordered, among other reductions, the disband- 
ment of Skinner’s Horse. With tears in his ryes Lord Lake, the 
Comxnander-in-Chief, communicated this news to Skinner. His 
men received pensions and gratuity, while James and Robert were 
granted Jagin yielding Rs. 20,000 /- a year. Shortly after this, 
however, when it was decided that British subjects will not hold 
land, the Jagirs were withdrawn and pensions were granted. Tlut 
pleased neither of the two brothers nor their friend Lord Lake. 

Not long after there was trouble with the Sikhs. Once again, 
the British Administration rushed for help to Skinner. He svas 
asked to raise a Corps for the settlement of the Harriana District. 
On the death of his brother in 1825, Skinner’s Corps was reduced 
in strength. Skinner's reaction was an eloquent commentary on 
the administration’s policy at the time. 

“I was, however, soil at the head of 1200 horse : and in 1822 I 
went to Calcutta, where 1 was very kindly greeted by Lord Hastings. 
He promised that he would not lessen my command by a single man; 
hut no sooner had he left the Country than my Corps was at once 
reduced to 800 men. Rapid, indeed, has been my fall. In the 
Maharatta service from 1796 to 1C03, 1 had always a well-grounded 
hope of rising in rank and fortune; no question was ever raised as to 
my birth there. When I entered the British service, I believed that 
had found a field in which the fruits of zeal and fidelity would be 



26 THE STOUT or THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITT 

fidence in British faith. Finally, he was persuaded by his fellow- 
officers to meet Lord Lake, the Commander-in-Chief of the British 
forces. He was treated with extreme cordiality and offered a 
Command by Lord Lake and given the right to raise a troop of 
horse. Skinner, however, had a deep sense of loyalty. One of 
the terms which he insisted on was that he would not fight his old 
comrades-in-arms : nobody would draw sword against Madhoji 
Scindia, whose salt he had eaten, or Ferron under whom he had 
served. Ultimately, Skinner became a great favourite with Lord 
Lake. He formed his Corps of cavalry from a body of Perron’* 
men who had served under him. The men, in fact, insisted on 
serving under ‘Sikandcr Sahib’, as James Skinner was known. 
‘Sikander’ was a corruption or Alexander, the reference being to 
Alexander the Great. 

Skinner’s first action under the British colours covered his Corps 
with glory. Having captured the fort of Malaghur from Madho 
Rao, he was congratulated by Lord Lake and placed in general 
command of the country between Aligarh and Delhi. During that 
period with only COO men he cut up about 5000 Sikhs at Saharan- 
pur and made prisoners of the confederate Chiefs who had assembl- 
ed on the banks of the Jumna. 

Because of the jealousies existing among the Maharatta Chiefs, 
all their schemes for unity came to naught. Scindia and Holkar, 
in spite of efforts to unite, failed to do so. Ranjit Singh ofLahorc 
also backed out from supporting Scindia. Holkar, Bhonsle, who 
was Maharaja of Nagpur, and Scindia, although promising to work 
together never did so and were destroyed one by one by the British. 
The regular brigades received no assistance from the cavalry and 
were, during the battles, deserted by the officers who led them. It 
is interesting to reflect that had the Anglo-Indian officers, who had 
distinguished themselves in the service of the Maharatta Chiefs, 
remained to lead the otherwise courageous Maharatta soldiery, 
the history of British arms in India might well have been different- 
ly wTitten. Holkar first tortured and then barbarically put to death 
eight of his best officers. The most eminent of these was Col. 
Vickers, an Anglo-Indian, who was mainly responsible for Holkar’s 
victory over the Peshwa’s army at Poona on the 25th October, 
1802. Vickers with seven officers, all Anglo-Indians, were beheaded 
in one day. 



23 THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITT 

matured and reaped in perfection; and no exertions on my part 
were spared to forward this object. I imagined myself to be serv- 
ing a people who had no prejudices against caste or colour. But 
I found myself mistaken. All I desired was justice. If I was not 
to share in all the privileges of a British subject, let me be regarded 
as a native and treated as such. If I was to be regarded as a 
British subject, did the hard labour and ready service of twenty 
years merit no more than a pension of 300 rupees per month; with- 
out either rank or station and after the distinct and repeated pro- 
mises of the permanent maintenance of my Corps, was it fair that 
1 should be left liable to be commanded by the youngest subaltern 
in the army, deprived of the hope which I had so fondly enter- 
tained of passing my old age tranquilly in that service to which my 
better years had been devoted? But I thank my Creator that 
there remains one source of satisfaction — one consolation under 
every disappointment; and it is this— that I have ever discharged my 
duty as a soldier with honour and credit; that during the space of 
twenty years, in which I have served with Europeans, no one can 
ever upbraid me with dishonouring ‘the steel’, or being ‘faithless 
to my salt’ : that, finally, though I have failed in gaining what I 
desired and deserved — that is rank — I have proved to the world 
that I was worthy of it.” 

In 1826 on the recommendation of the Government Skinner was 
made Commander of the Bath. The British Government was 
further pleased to declare, "This officer has so often been brought 
to our notice that his services must no longer be neglected; there- 
fore, let the gift of rank be bestowed by the Crown.” The rank 
of Lt. Col. was granted to both Skinner and Gardner. It would 
appear that Lord Combermerc had to wear down the opposition 
of some of the British military officers who did not view favourably 
the conferment of this rank on Skinner. 

In 1831 Skinner was directed to proceed with two Risalas of 
his Cavalry to Rupar where a grand meeting had been arranged 
between the British Governor-General and Ranjit Singh. The 
latter attended this Durbar superbly dressed. He wore on his left 
arm the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond. Lord Bentinck presented 
Skinner with an elegant silver vase on which there was an inscrip- 
tion acknowledging Skinner’s outstanding services. 

On the 4th December, 1841, the lion-hearted leader of the famous 



r*rx-LANcr. souitrxs 29 

•Yellow Bays* away. He died at Harm after a short illnew. 

On the 17th January, 1012, h« remains wore disinterred and es- 
corted by the regiment to the church which he 1ml built in Delhi. 
Four miles from the city the cortege was met by a vatt multitude. 
Sixty-three guns were then fired corresponding to his age. Pull 
military honours were paid to him. It was said, "No Linperor 
was ever brought to Delhi in such state as SiVander Sahel)." 

Skinner was as modest as he was a dashing soldier. It is said 
that he used to have a wooden ladle placed before him at meals to 
remind him of his humble origin. He was short, sturdily built and 
dark in complexion. Apart from his skill and courage as a soldier 
and leader of men, Skinner was a Persian scholar and kept his diary 
in that language. 

The Gardners 

Col. William Linnaeus Gardner was the founder not only of the 
well-known Gardner’s Horse, which continues today as one of 
India's proud regiments but also of the rather prolific Gardner 
family. William Gardner was gazetted as an Ensign in the 18lh Foot 
on the 7th March, 1793. He was the eldest son of Major Valentine 
Gardner who was the elder brother of Alan, First Lord Gardner. 
He became a free-lance soldier and had a most adventurous 
career. Before 1798 he entered the service of the Maharatta 
Chieftain Jaswam Rao Holkar and raised a brigade of infantry for 
him. Holkar sent him on a mission to negotiate a treaty with the 
independent Princes of Cambay, a State on the west coast of India. 
Gardner married Princess Mehr Manzul-un-nUsa when she sms 
13 years of age. This granddaughter of the Prince of Cambay was 
eventually adopted by Akbar Shall who succeeded Shah AJam as 
the Emperor at Delhi. It would appear that in 1 804 Gardner was 
in the service of the Raja of Jaipur. When he joined the British, 
he raised a cavalry Corps known as Gardner’s Horse. 

Gardner served as a leader of this irregular horse unit with the 
rank of Captain under Lord Late. Later with the rank of Lt. Col. 
he rendered invaluable service under Sir David Ochterlony. His 
unit was first known as a Corps of irregular cavalry and afterwards 
was described as Gardner's Local Hone. 

Gardner was a skilled rider and swordsman. He was held in 
very high esteem by both Indians and Europeans. He was dcs- 



30 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

cribcd as a gentleman and a soldier of pleasing address and un- 
common ability. Gardner and his wife arc said to have led an 
ideally happy life. He resided at his estate at Khasgunj in Etah 
District. He died there on the 20th July, 1835, at the age of 65. 
Hts wife is said to have died of a broken heart within six months 
after the death of her husband. 

Col. Gardner had two sons and a daughter by his Princess wife. 
Alan, the second son, who died in 1828, was married to one Bibi 
Saheba Hinga. They had two daughters, Susan and Hurmuzi. 
Susan married Prince Anjam Shikoh: Hurmuzi married in 1834 
Stuart William Gardner, an Ensign in the 28th Native Infantry, 
the son of Rear-Admiral Francis Gardner, nephew of the second 
Baron Gardner and grandson of the first Baron Gardner. Their 
son Alan Hyde succeeded to the title. He married in 1879 Jane, 
a converted Princess or the House of Delhi who had a son in 1881. 

The Gardner family lived in a princely style but ultimately their 
estates were mortgaged and then lost. In 1883 Alan Hyde Gardner 
claimed the title of fourth Baron. On the death of Alan Hyde a 
few years before 1889, his son Alan Legg, who was Reference Clerk 
in the Library of the Government Secretariat of the United Pro- 
vinces, claimed to have succeeded to the title. 

Hyder Hearsey 

To this period also belonged Major Hyder Young Hearsey, one 
of the most colourful Anglo-Indians of that time. He was the son 
of a Jat lady by Capt. Henry Hearsey. By coincidence be was 
given the name of Hyder, which was the name of one of England’s 
greatest enemies at that time, Hyder Ali of Mysore. It is believed 
that his second name was ‘Jung’, meaning tsar, which was sub- 
sequently anglicised to Young. Hyder Young Hearsey was edu- 
cated at Woolich. Owing to the ban against the admission of 
Anglo-Indians into the Company’s Army he would have been deni- 
ed a Commission but for the influence of his cousin Col. Andrew 
Hearsey, Commandant of the Allahabad Fort. His first appoint- 
ment was as aide-de-camp to the Nawab Wazir at Bcnaras : he soon 
effected an exchange into the Maharatta service under Madhoji 
Scindia. Partly because of his knowledge of Trench, Hearsey 
was made aide-de-camp to General Perron who was then command- 
ing Scindia’s armies. Ultimately because of Perron’s partiality 



TREE-LANCE SOLDIERS 


31 


to certain French officers, Hearsey and Hopkins, another Anglo- 
Indian, left and entered the sen-ice of Raja George Thomas. Sub- 
sequently Thomas fell out with Madhoji Scindia and a French 
officer by the name of Bourguin was sent with two divisions of the 
Maharatta army to conquer Hissar, Thomas’ principality, and to 
reduce Hansi, the capital. In the various actions that ensued, 
Bourguin was repeatedly defeated by Thomas and his lieutenants 
Heaney and Hopkins. Finding that he could not reduce Hansi 
by the normal methods of warfare, Bourguin resorted to treachery 
and sought to bribe Thomas’ soldiers into desertion. Soon Tliomas 
found that he had not sufficient men to man the walls of his fort. 
With Heaney he withdrew into his citadel where he was besieged 
by Bourguin but without decision. Eventually Thomas was 
induced to give up the citadel named Gcorgc-ghur. He was 
allowed to march out with all the honours of war, to retain his arms, 
his family and his private property : he was also paid three hundred 
thousand rupees. 

Shortly after this Hearsey left Thomas and raising a troop of 
5000 men in the Mewathi country, began to subdue the district for 
himself. In 1B04 he received an invitation from Lord Lake to 
come over to him. Hearsey accordingly disbanded his men with 
the exception of one regiment of picked cavalry. With these he 
fought in the battle of Dcigh. As a reward his men were formed 
into a cavalry regiment under his command. Hearsey was sent to 
quell the insurrection of Rohillas which he did successfully. Sir 
George Barlow, acting Governor-General, however, ill-adviscdly 
ordered the disbandment of his Horse and even refused to pay the 
soldiers the pension that had been promised by the Government. 

In the following year Hearsey went exploring the sources of the 
Jumna and the Ganges. In 1809 he found himself undertaking 
a more attractive task of expelling the Gurkhas from the Oudh 
Terai. His campaign was completely successful and he took the 
Gurkha Chieftain a prisoner. 

Hearsey had become acquainted with the Raja of Tehri Garhwal 
who was living in very straitened circumstances at Bareilly. The 
Raja was the representative of the Chand family that had ruled 
over Garhwal for many centuries. He was the heir of Raja 
Pradhuman Shah who was driven from his dominion by the Gurkhas 
in 1803. Pradhuman Shah made a valiant attempt to recover his 



32 THE STORY OP THE AXGlO-tSOUN COSIUITSITY 

territories, but was defeated and killed near Dclira in I COI. Hit 
successor, despairing of regaining /n't territories and throne, o/Tered 
to sell part ofit to Heaney. The transaction seemed to be extreme- 
ly rash in nature because of the inclination or the British authorities 
to avoid war with the Gurkhas. Hcarsey was, however, not only 
absolutely fearless but of an enterprising character. He enter- 
tained the idea of reconquering Garhwal for the Raja and himself. 
The sale was, therefore, concluded by a formal deed. According 
to this deed the Raja sold to Hcarsey the I’argunnas of Doon and 
and Chandee. This was in IBM. Heaney thus owned the svhole 
territory between Kaht and Gonda. 

After the Gurkha war of 1015, the British Government reinstated 
the Raja in parts of his dominion, but certain parts which included 
the Doon and Chandee and the present district of Garhwal were 
retained by the British Hcarsey brought his purchase to the notice 
of the Government which bought the Parganna of Chandee from 
him for a sum which was to be payable to Hcarsey and bis successors 
in perpetuity commencing from the \st of January, IB12. In the 
same deed Heaney promised that when the Doon valley came into 
the possession of the Company, he would sell that propf rly also to the 
Company. But for reasons best known to it, the Cast India Company 
failed to complete the purchase of the Doon and the efforts of 
Heaney's descendants to get the British authorities to honour these 
transactions consistently failed. 

In 1014 Heaney and Dr William Moorcraft journeyed into 
Chinese Tartary and were the fint foreigners to set eyes on the 
Mansarosvar and Rakastal lakes. On his return I/earsey submitted 
his report to the Government with an illustra led map and received a 
present of 6000/- rupees. In the following year Heaney was eng- 
aged in another campaign against the Gurkhas. 

The capture orilharatpur was the last campaign in which Heaney 
fought. The old warrior emerged Hrom his retirement to volunteer 
his services in spite of the many wounds that he had received dur- 
ing his many campaigns and despite rhe churlish treatment meted 
out to him by the Company. After the fall or Bharalpur Heaney 
retired to his house in Karch where he lived in great state and happi* 
ness until his death in 1810. His wire, a Princess of Cambay, 
survived him for about ten years. He left two sons and a daughter 
who married Genera) Sir John Bennett Heaney of Afutiny fame. 



FRET.-LANCE SOLD IFRS 


33 


The two sorts, John and William, entered die sen-ice of tJic King 
ofOudh in 183G as they were unable to get commissions in the Com- 
pany's service because of their mixed descent. On the annexation of 
the Province in 1852 both brothers were given commissions with the 
rank of Captain and distinguished themselves during the Mutiny, 
It is interesting to note the number of Anglo-Indian officers 
involved in the battle between the Maharatta and the Nizam’s 
armies. One of the most powerful Princes of the time, the Nizam 
of Hyderabad, employed a large number of Anglo-Indian officers 
to train and lead lus armies. On the 1 llh March, 1785, the Nizam’s 
armies met the Maharatta forces at the battle of Kardla. The 
armies of the Maharattas and the Nizam were almost equally 
matched in numbers and equally well disciplined, being officered 
largely by Anglo-Indians and Europeans. 

The battle was really indecisive. The Nizam, who was an old 
uncertain man, insisted on retreating when his Moghul cavalry, 
on which he relied unduly, broke up in confusion under heavy fire 
from the Maharatta rocket batteries. In the Maharatta army 
there were many senior Anglo-Indian officers such as Col. Hess- 
ing, Michael Filose, Dcrridon and many others. One of the most 
distinguished Anglo-Indian officers of the Maharatta armies was 
Col. Sutherland who married the niece of General Perron, the then 
Commander-in-Chief of Madhoji Seindia’s armies, and the daughter 
of Col. Hessing. Sutherland fought gallantly for Holkar and settled 
at Mathura where he was buried. 

In fact General Perron himself had married an Anglo-Indian 
girl by the name of Dcrridon (the original name was perhaps 
deRidon). He had two daughters, one of whom married a French 
nobleman. The Dcrridon family was living at Koil in 1838. 

General dtlioigne 

General Count deBoigne was one of the most colourful and decisive 
figures in those stirring times. His military genius and his many 
qualities of head and heart made him not only the Commander- 
in-chief of Madhoji Scindia’s armies, but uncrowned King of 
Hindustan. On the 2nd February, 1794, Madhoji Scindia was 
perhaps the most powerful Prince in Maharatta history with the 
exception of Shivaji. The kingdom he left behind was the most 
powerful in India. 



34 


THE STORY OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


Its strength was due as much to the military genius of deBoigne 
as to the statecraft of Scindia. It is said that deBoigne’s conduct 
was governed throughout by the highest of principles. In 1795 in 
the palace of Agra there was a solemn parting between deBoigne 
and his young master of the House he had served so long and faith- 
fully. deBoigne had resigned the service of Daulat Rao Scindia, 
the grand-nephew of Madhoji Scindia. 

deBoigne had contracted in India a marriage, according to the 
usages of the Country, with the daughter of a Persian Colonel. 
He had two children, a son named Alabux and a daughter named 
Banu. They accompanied their father to France and were sub- 
sequently baptised Mlto the Christian faith, the son being named 
Charles Alexander and the daughter Anne. Charles married the 
daughter of a French nobleman. On the death of the father the 
estate passed to him. 

deBoigne left behind in India two daughters by another marri- 
age. In letters written to Col. Sutherland he showed his continu- 
ing concern for these daughters. His landed estate in the Etah 
District had been assigned to the support of the two girls. 

A brief reference may be made to the extraordinary adventurer 
Raja George Thomas, the Irish sailor who had deserted from the 
Navy in 1782. Thomas served under Begum Sumru and achieved 
great distinction. He was placed in command of her forces which 
at first consisted of five battalions of infantry, some cavalry and 
about 40 guns and included about 300 Anglo-Indians and Euro- 
peans of various ranks. In 1788 he took part in the campaign on 
behalf of the deposed Emperor Shah Alam. By his skill and daring 
he succeeded in turning defeat into victory and saving the person 
of the Emperor. Thomas also served under Madhoji Scindia and 
then carved out a principality for himself. He was the undisputed 
Raja of the Harriana province with his capital at Hansi. Ultimate- 
ly he was brought to bay by the troops of Scindia under the com- 
mand of one Bourguin who, however, allowed him honourable 
terms of surrender on the 1st January, 1802. He went to Sardhana, 
the. seat of Begum Sumru, where he spent some time. The Begum 
took charge of his wife and family. He had married one of Begum 
Sumru’s maids of honour by the name of Maria. Thomas him- 
self was a Protestant, but Maria was a Roman Catholic and so 
were her children. 



FREE-LANCE SOLDIERS 


35 


George Thomas completely identified himself with his soldiers. 
He was virtually illiterate in English but a scholar of Persian. 
Jacob Thomas was one of the four children of George Thomas. 
He served as an officer for many years with Begum Sumru. On 
her death the Sardliana forces were disbanded and Jacob Thomas 
joined Ranjit Singh in March, 1838. John Thomas was the eldest 
son svho was known more for his literary activities and for his 
Urdu verse. 

Colonel Henry Forster — C.B. 

Henry was the son of Henry Pitts Forster of the East India 
Company’s Civil Service who came out to India in 1783 and was 
subsequently appointed Master of the Calcutta Mint. The father 
constructed, at Bhowanipore, a circular summer-house in the 
centre of a tank. This was known as 'Forster's Folly*. 

Henry was bom in 1793. Being or mixed descent he was dis- 
qualified from obtaining service under the Company. Finally, he 
joined what was the resort of all aspiring soldiers of the day, the 
Mahratta Army. In 1816 he was appointed Adjutant of the 
second regiment of Skinner’s Horse. 

The following year he saw active service under General Sir John 
Malcolm in the Pindari campaign and helped to run to earth 
Chcetoo, the lawless freebooter. He fought in the battle of Mahin- 
pore, aided Baji Rao, the last of the Peshwas, in quelling a mutiny 
among his Arab mercenaries. In 1818 he was assisting Skinner’s 
Horse to weed out the Pindari hordes from the districts of Dhar 
and Jubboa. In 1819 Forster was made a Lieutenant and trans- 
ferred his services to Roberts' Local Horse. In 1822, however, 
he rejoined Skinner’s Horse where he was placed second in com- 
mand. Eight years later he became Adjutant of the 3rd Local 
Horse at Bareilly, and in 1834 he marched the regiment to 
Neemuch- 

About this lime the Government of India directed him to raise 
a force for the suppression of a serious revolt in the Shekawatie 
Country in Rajputana. This important task he carried out 
successfully and furnished a brigade composed of two regiments of 
Cavalry, two of Infantry and two batteries of Artillery commanded 
by himself and officered by his three sons, Henry, William and 
Thomas. With these levies he won— not without being wounded — 



36 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNIST 

the battles of Sikur, Gudhi and Khetri and captured the fortress 
of Raluk from the insurgents. 

During the first Punjab campaign of 1845-46 the Shekawatie 
Brigade was actively employed. It was present at the battle of 
Aliwal where Henry Forster (Senior) had a horse shot from under 
him. On one occasion during the campaign Forster was ordered 
to send a guard of four companies of the Shehawatics as escort Tor 
the Commander-in-ChieF, Lord Gough. Forster selected the flank 
companies of each of his regiments. When Lord Gough rode down 
to the escort ranks and enquired where the officer in command was 
and what regiment he was inspecting, he was informed that the 
regiment was an Irregular one. Lord Gough then exclaimed if 
an irregular regiment is like this, what must the regular be! 
Forster received the Punjab medal and clasp of the campaign and 
made a Companion of the Bath. It is noteworthy that although 
Lord Gough urged the East India Company to promote Foister to 
the rank of Colonel for his services, the Court of Directors declined 
to accept the recommendation of the Commander-in-Chief. Cough, 
however, prosed a staunch friend and in 1854 obtained for Forster 
a Colonelcy in the Queen’s Army. 

The strength of the Shekawatie Brigade was subsequently re- 
duced to one regiment 0 r Infantry, later known as the 13th Bengal 
Native Infantry which was stationed at Dinaporc under the com- 
mand of Col. James Michell, the grandson of Henry forster. 
During the whole period of the Mutiny the loyalty or the regiment 
was never suspect and unlike other regiments were allowed to keep 
their arms. This dependability was due to the love and confi- 
dence of the men in Henry Forster and his son William who succeed- 
ed him in the command. 



FREE-LANCE SOLDIERS 


37 


who left a legacy ofRs. 40,000, to the District Charitable Society. 

With one exception all his daughters were married to officers of 
the old Indian Army. His son Major Wiliam Fonter married 
Miss Heaney; both their sons were in military service, one in the 
Indian Army and the other in the 5th Lancers. Col. Forster’s 
youngest son, Major-General Thomas Francis Forster married his 
cousin Anne, a sister or Sir George Kellner who retired in England. 
Their son Arthur, of the Punjab Police, married Miss Alice 
Skinner. A handsome marble monument in the Lower Circular 
Road Cemetery marked Col. Forster’s grave and had the follow- 
ing inscription: 


“In memory of 
Colonel Henry Forster, C.B. 

(H.M’f Indian Army) 

Who died at Calcutta 
on the 9th October, 1862 
Aged 69 years.” 

Poets and Scholars 

r is significant that during this period of anarchy and strife 
many Anglo-Indians distinguished themselves not only as soldiers 
but as outstanding writers of Persian and Urdu verse. Up to 1 750 
and indeed for about 50 years beyond that Europeans and Anglo- 
Indians mixed freely with one another and with members of the 
other communities. There was close social and cultural inter- 
course. Persian and Urdu were the principal languages. Because 
of this close intercourse a significant feature was the complete 
mastery by many Anglo-Indians of both Persian and Urdu. Un- 
fortunately, much of the literary production of that time and the 
undoubtedly great influence that Anglo-Indians had on both 
Persian and Urdu literature have been forgotten. Writing of this 
period Mr. R.B. Saksena, a retired civil servant, said, “Englishmen 
in India and Anglo-Indians not only distinguished themselves as 
writers of Urdu and Persian verse, but were equally eminent in 
the domain of English verse.” Continuing Saksena writes, “Their 
poems reveal a remarkable knowledge of oriental literature, my- 
thology and religion, local colour and history and minute details 



36 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO- INDIAN COMMUNITY 

the battles of Sikur, Gudhi and Khetri and captured the fortress 
of Raluk from the insurgents. 

During the first Punjab campaign of 1845-46 the Shekawalie 
Brigade was actively employed. It was present at the battle of 
Aliwal where Henry Forster (Senior) had a horse shot from under 
him. On one occasion during the campaign Forster was Ordered 
to send a guard of four companies or the Shekawaties as escort for 
the Coinmander-in-Chief, Lord Gough. Forster selected the flank 
companies of each of his regiments. When Lord Gough rode down 
to the escort ranks and enquired where the officer in command was 
and what regiment he was inspecting, he was informed that the 
regiment was an Irregular one. Lord Gough then exclaimed if 
an irregular regiment is like this, what must the regular be! 
Forster received the Punjab medal and clasp or the campaign and 
made a Companion of the Bath. It is noteworthy that although 
Lord Gough urged the East India Company to promote Forster to 
the rank of Colonel for his services, the Court of Directors declined 
to accept the recommendation of the Commander-in-Chief. Gough, 
how ever, proved a staunch friend and in 1854 obtained for Forster 
a Colonelcy in the Queen’s Army. 

The strength of the Shekawatie Brigade svas subsequently re- 
duced to one regiment of Infantry, later known as the 13th Bengal 
Native Infantry which was stationed at Dinaporc under the com- 
mand of Col. James Michell, the grandson of Henry Torster. 
During the whole period of the Mutiny the loyalty of the regiment 
was never suspect and unlike other regiments were allowed to keep 
their arms. This dependability was due to the love and confi- 
dence of the men in Henry Forster and his son William who succeed- 
ed him in the command. 

On the outbreak of the Mutiny Forster again was detailed to 
reduce the mutinous 34th N.I. and Ramghur Infantry in Singh - 
boom, Manbhoom and Chaibassa. After having accomplished 
this Forster was ordered to perform a similar task at Sumbulporc. 
On his arrival there he was appointed Commissioner. His health 
being impaired as result of a prolonged attack of fever, he pro- 
ceeded to England on medical advice, returned to Calcutta, took 
up his residence at 'Ball) gunge and died in 1E62. 

Col. Forster first roamed Miss Kellner who was murdered at 
•EbAYi decnerg nVe J/eruty*. His second wife teas an Indian lady 


FREE-t-ANCE SOI-DIfaS 


39 


General Joseph BeruJey was bom on the 15th October, 1846, 
and died on the 1st November, 1871, at the early age or 25. He 
was not only the General Officer Commanding the Alwar lorccs 
but had a reputation for several accomplishments. He was pro* 
fident in music and composed Hindi songs. His range and versa lb 
lity were deemed to be remarkable, the more so because he did not 
have any special poetical master. Joseph Hensley married a 
daughter of John Puech, an Anglo-Indian, and sister of George 
Puech. 

Gtorge Puech 

George Puech is deemed to be the most prolific of Anglo-Indian 
poets of Urdu. Bom in Koil on the 1st December, IB27, lie was 
taught Urdu and Persian privately. According to Saksena, 
“George Puech occupies a very high niche in the temple of Anglo- 
Indian poetry and an honourable mention as a Urdu poet amongst 
writers of Urdu verse. He had the rare distinction of writing with 
ease in Persian and Urdu. He had a remarkable knowledge and 
considerable command over these languages and wrote well and 
copiously." The younger sister of Puech married James Gardner, 
grandson of Col. Gardner. 

The Palmers 

Another well-known Anglo-Indian family of this period was the 
Palmers. The founder was General Wiliam Palmer. His second 
marriage was to a Muslim lady of Delhi who is said to have died 
in Hyderabad in 1828 and was buried in the Palmer cemetery in 
Hyderabad. By this marriage he had many sons and daughters. 
The most famous was William or ‘King’ Palmer who entered the 
military service of the Nizam in 1799. ‘King’ Palmer rose to the 
rank of Brigadier and retired in 1810. He founded the famous 
banking house of the Palmers. Incidentally ‘King’ Palmer built 
up such a successful banking business that he was able to lend to 
the Nizam, when he needed it, onemillion pounds. ‘King’ Painter's 
daughter married Col. Meadows Taylor, the famous author of the 
‘Confessions of a Thug*. In his memoirs Col. Meadows Taylor 
testifies to the scholarship of his father-in-law, who was an accom- 
lished Persian scholar. 



gg THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

of Indian life and scenery. Many of them were authors of establish- 
ed reputation.” 

The Filose Family 

One of the most distinguished Anglo-Indian families of this 
period, the members of which achieved distinction both as soldiers 
and scholars, was the Filose family of Gwalior. It played a not- 
able part in the history of Central India. The founder of the 
family was one Michael Filose who arrived in Calcutta in 1 770 A.D. 
Ultimately he found service with deBoigne. Filose had two sons, 
Jean Baptiste and Fidele by an Indian lady. Michael Filose ulti- 
mately commanded a Corps under Madhoji Scindia which number- 
ed eleven battalions. When he left for Europe, the command of 
the battalions was taken over by his two sons. Jean Baptiste was 
one of the few officers of European descent who fought alongside 
Madhoji Scindia against the British. After Scindia’s defeat Jean 
Baptiste joined him and remained in his service for many yean 
as Commander-in-Chief. Jean Baptiste was perhaps the only 
military adventurer of Hindustan who survived the disaster of 
1803. Jean Baptiste had a colourful career. Before Scindia’s 
defeat by the British, he used to go out on ‘kingdom taking’ expedi- 
tions. He was the Commander-in-Chief of the State Army which 
consisted of thirty thousand regular sepoys and the famous artillery 
which had remained with him since the days of deBoigne. Jean 
Baptiste served the Scindia House for 37 years and died in 1846. 
He built up a reputation not only as a great soldier but as a great 
scholar of Persian. 

The greatest poet the family produced was Sir Florence Filose. 
He was born in 1829 and died in the Gwalior State at the ripe age 
of 83. He married one Mary Anne and both of them were buried 
in the Filose Chapel at Gwalior. Florence Filose had two sons. 
Col. Albert Filose and Major Clement Filose. Sir Florence’s elder 
brother was Col. Sir Peter Filose who died in Gwalior on the 4th 
July, 1872 : he was head of the criminal administration of Gwalior. 
The youngest brother was Lt. Col. Sir Michael Filose who was 
bom on the 18th April, 1836, and died on the 5th February, 1925. 
He served under four Maharajas. A famous architect he designed 
and constructed the famous Jai Vilas Palace. At the Delhi Darbar of 
1911 his Majesty the King conferred the K.C.I.E. on Michael Filose. 



4t 


raEE-tASCE SOLDIERS 

the Emperor AVlur conferred on Itim the title or Nawab and placed 
the imperial Sentglio in hit care, having f.nt talren the precaution 
of marrying him to hit Chrittian tvife't titter Lady J“b»t“- 
olhce remained in the family till 1734 tthen Nadir Shah tacked 

hittory of the family really begin! vrith Salvador Bourbon. 
Col. Popham, the Britilh resident of Givalior, gate him a Jagtr and 
a home in the State. Salvador vvat employed by the Begum of 
Bhopal and remained in her terviee till her death. He vvat recalled 
to the Bhopal terviee and made Commander-In-Chief or the torect. 
In that capacity he vvat actively engaged in defending e la c 
agaimt the Mahaiattat and the Pindari frrebooten that infatetl 

theCountry. In this task hewas assisted by hit cousin Pedro u - 

bon. Ultimately Scindia and another Maharalta Ch.efta.n 
Bhonsle, the Raja of Nagpur, tent their combined forces to Bhop 
to avenge their previous defeat. The Bhopal army was .defeated 
by thit combind force or over 00,000. Salvador retreated vaith 
small force of 3000 to guard the city. Hit heroism Bred the 
habitants to endure a siege of six months and led u timate y o 
raising of the liege. Madhoji Scindia now sent a force, un 
famous Anglo-Indian General, Jean Baptiste Filosc, wtt ,m 
tions to destroy the city. Salvador went to meet the invading 
General as he wished to tecure time to mbit the inlereesnon of th 
British through Col. Oehterlony who was then Resident at Bet • 
The two Anglo-Indian Generals met and Salvador persua e * 
to stay operations. In the meantime the British interven a 
the city was saved. • 

The Pindaris were constantly attacking and harassing 
southern border of the Slate. Salvador went out wit an a 
against them and after ridding the frontier of these pests, e w 
sent to Nagpur on a mission of peace to Maharaj Bhons c ° 
pur. During his absence his patron Minuter, Wazir . o 
Khan, died but not before he had conferred on Salva or a ' a 
ble estate for his great services. Salvador died shortly after that 
and was succeeded to his estate by the younger of hu two so , 
Balthasar. . H f 

The late Minister’s son was elected the Ruler of B opa . e 
once appointed Balthasar Bourbon as hu Minister and sent m 
General Adams who was operating in the vicinity a gains 



40 THE STORE OP THE ANCLO-INDKV COMHVsmr 

Dr. Benjamin Johnston 

Dr. Benjamin Johnston of Hyderabad, son of Capt. Benjamin 
Baillic Johnston, a British officer in the Nizam's army, was not only 
a skilful physician hut has been acclaimed as a poet of great ability. 
Sahsena observes, "From the specimens of hit verses it appears that 
Johnston was a poet of great ability who could compose verse in 
Urdu and Persian with ease and fluency. He shows mastery over 
language and technique. The Tazhirat testify to his scliolarship." 
Dr. Benjamin Johnston's sister, Anne, married John Trancis 
Anthony, a successful Anglo-Indian lawyer and my paternal 
grandfather. 

The Gardners 

No Anglo-Indian family, however, has produced so many poets 
of Urdu and Persian as the Gardners. The most notable svas 
Suleiman Shikoh Gardner He was the eldest son of James Valen- 
tine Gardner by a Muslim Princess, the adopted daughter of 
Prince Suleiman Shikoh, son of Emperor Sluh Alam of Delhi. 
Gardner was bom in 1B31 and died at Ghaoni, the family residence, 
in 1902. Inheriting a large family property from his father he 
lived the life of on Indian nobleman. He had a wide circle of 
friends, the Maliaraja of Alwar being one of the closest. It is said 
that Gardner s*as fond not only of poetry but of wine and women. 
His tastes, boss ever, were scholarly and he was specially proficient 
in Persian, Arabic and Hindi. He spoke all these languages as if 
they were his mother-tongue and had a reputation as a bom poet. 
In the words orSaksena, "His Hindi compositions arc remarkable. 
He shows amazing command over the Urdu language and i* an 
outstanding poet of merit amongst Anglo-Indian writers of verse 
and Urdu poets generally.” 

The Indian Bourbons 

Another leading Anglo-Indian family that produced both soldiers 
and poets of distinction were the Bourbons of Bhopal. There is a 
strong tradition that the family descended from John Thillip 
Bourbon, Prince of Navarre. In 1540 John Phillip Bourbon of 
Navarre, a member of the younger branch of the family of Henry 
IV, King of Prance, came to India. He landed in Madras and 
then went off to Bengal. He ultimately arrived in Delhi where 



IHEZ-LANCE SOLDIERS 


43 


After the death of Madam Duthin in 1032 (here was a special 
investigation by the political authorities into the circumstances 
and history of the family. There was said to have been a family 
history compiled In the 10th Century and carried by a priest to 
Goa. There is also an interesting paper by Col. Kincaid in the 
Asiatic Quarterly Review of January to April, 1 897. 

John Roberts was the son of General Sir Abraham Roberts, 
K.C.B., and the half brother of Lord Roberts, V.C. John Roberts 
married a Muslim lady and became a Mohammedan. In his will 
General Sir Abraham Roberts, K.C.B. of 25, Royal York Crescent, 
Clifton, Bristol, dated the ICth January, 1873, made bequests to 
his wife Isabella Roberts, his daughter Harriet Mercer Roberts, 
his son Lt. Col. George Roberts and his son Lt. Col. Frederick 
Sleigh Roberts, V.C. He also made annuities to Ann Roberts, 
resident of Benares, William Roberts and also to John Roberts, 
resident of Lucknow. The latter were his children by an Indian 
wife. John Roberts has left poems which show complete familiarity 
with Urdu. According to Saksena, however, they were not of a 
specially high order. 

Djce Sombre 

It has already been mentioned that Begum Sumru lavished her 
entire wealth on David Ochterlony Dyce. He was carefully edu- 
cated by her and received his education in a Delhi college. He 
was a scholar both of Persian and English. In a deed of gift to 
David Dyce, her adopted son and heir, the Begum stipulated that 
he should proclaim himself as one of the family by adding that name 
to his own. It was thus that he took the name of David Ochter- 
lony Dyce Sombre. The Begum died on the 27th January’, 183G. 
At the age or 30 Dyce Sombre found himself the master of a fortune 
amounting to half a million pounds. Two of the Begum's old 
friends wrote to Dyce giving him differing advice. Lord Comber- 
mere urged him to visit Europe, while James Skinner addressing 
him an ode in Persian strongly dissuaded him from such a step. 

Dyce went to England. Although very dark in complexion, he 
attracted considerable attention not only because he was highly 
placed and had sponsors among Royalty, but also because of his 
considerable wealth. In 1838 he was introduced to Mary' Anne 
Jems, the only surviving daughter of Edward Jervis, Second 



44 THE STOUT or THE AXCUVUmtAK COinHNTTT 

Viscount St. Vincent. He was warned on the 26th September, 
1840, when the bride was 20 years of age. In the following year 
Dyce Sombre was elected Member of Parliament from the borough 
or Sudbury. Apparently he had followed the then rather wide- 
spread practice of trying to buy a ‘pocket’ borough. He was un- 
seated on a petition for bribery and corruption. Dyce’s marriage 
was unhappy. He accused his wife ©f infidelity. According to 
him English society of that time was not only corrupt but had no 
morals. He alleged that many English noblemen had offered him 
their wives in exchange for cash payments. Mrs. Dyce, already 
heir to her husband’s immense wealth, was successful in having him 
declared to be unbalanced and put under restraint. Dyce escaped 
thc'consequences by fleeing to Paris. He did everything possible to 
disprove the allegation that he was in any way unbalanced. In 
1850 he presented a petition to the House of Parliament. He died 
in July, 1851, and in a will left all his property to the founding of a 
school in India for boys of mixed parentage. He made the Chair- 
man and Deputy Chairman of the Court of Directors his executors. 
They fought the case up to the highest court but ultimately lost and 
the whole property went to Mrs. Dyce. 

Mrs. Dyce Sombre remarried, on the 8th November, 1852, 
George Cecil, 3rd Baron Forester, who died on the J4th February, 
1886. There were no children of the marriage. During her life- 
time Lady Forester maintained the palace at Sardhana and found- 
ed the Forester Hospital and Dispensary at Sardhana. After her 
death the palace and the adjoining grounds were benight by a 
Catholic Mission. The palace was then used for the purpose of an 
Anglo-Vemacular school and as an orphanage for Christian boys. 

Dyce travelled extensively in Europe and was a scholar not only 
of English but or Urdu and Persian. He wrote to many of his 
Indian friends in Penian and English. In the words of Mr. Saksena, 
“It is unfortunate that no specimen of Dyce Sombre’s vctscs in 
Urdu or Penian are available. It is incontrovertible that he 
svaj a scholar of Persian and Urdu. It is also a fact that he was a 
poet and could even compose verses in English. He had a number 
of books and manuscripts which he took to England and kept them 
as his dearly prized possessions." Sakscna reproduces certain 
verses in English which were in manuscript and sent by Dyce to 
Lord Lyndhurst. A sample is given below. 



TREE-LANCE SOLDIERS 


45 


1. I liate your dreary English land 
Its clinic and hearth so cold; 

Its mercenary altars raised 

To Mammon and his gold. 

2. I hate your dreary English land 
Its scandals, trade and mist — 

Where e’en your women's Jips are chilled 
Howe'er warmly kissed. 

3. Give me the sunny land of Gaul 
Its bright wines, its wild blisses; 

Give me the Paris Bacchanals 
Dishevelled Locks and Kisses: 

4. Give me French hearts, as light and gay 
As their own glad champagne; 

Give me those lips that always smile 
Those arms that always strain. 

5. Farewell, my Lord; when next you have 
Some spouse a ‘madman* made, 

Don’t let his keepers take him to 
The Burlington Arcade. 

6. For me while France affords a home 
Your land, I ’ll ne’er regret it : 

Shall I e’er cross the sea again 
Here’s wishing you may get it. 

Boulogne. Dyce Sombre” 

In the words of Saksena, "Dyce’s life was sad and his end tragic, 
but he appeared to be more sinned against than sinning.” 

Hearsays Petition 

In about 1875, Captain Hearsay, son of General Sir John Bennett 
Hearsay, drew up a petition in verse. One verse was particularly 
significant, as it underlined the discriminatory treatment meted 
out to the Anglo-Indians. It read; 

“We have treated all Indians with kindness 
This Country we’ve made it our own. 

For this reason our children get nothing 
Because they have never been home.” 



44 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN' COMMUNITY 

Viscount St. Vincent. He was married on the 26th September, 
18 }0, when the bride was 20 years or age. In the following year 
Dyce Sombre was elected Member of Parliament from the borough 
of Sudbury. Apparently he had followed the then rather wide- 
spread practice of trying to buy a ‘pocket’ borough. He was un- 
seated on a petition for bribery and corruption. Dyce’s marriage 
was unhappy. He accused his wife of infidelity. According to 
him English society of that time was not only corrupt but bad no 
morals. He alleged that many English noblemen had offered him 
their wives in exchange for cash payments. Mrs. Dyce, already 
heir to her husband's immense wealth, was successful in having him 
declared to be unbalanced and put under restraint. Dyce escaped 
the’consequences by fleeing to Paris. He did everything possible to 
disprove the allegation that he was in any way unbalanced. In 
1850 he presented a petition to the House of Parliament. He died 
in July, 1851, and in a will left all his property to the founding of a 
school in India for boys of mixed parentage. He made the Chair- 
man and Deputy Chairman of the Court of Directors his executors. 
They fought the case up to the highest court but ultimately lost and 
the whole property went to Mrs. Dyce. 

Mrs. Dyce Sombre remarried, on the 8th November, 1852, 
George Cecil, 3rd Baron Forester, who died on the 14th February, 
1886. There were no children of the marriage. During her life- 
time Lady Forester maintained the palace at Sardhana and found- 
ed the Forester Hospital and Dispensary at Sardhana. After her 
death the palace and the adjoining grounds were bought by a 
Catholic Mission. The palace was then used for the purpose of an 
Anglo-Vernacular school and as an orphanage for Christian boys. 

Dyce travelled extensively in Europe and was a scholar not only 
of English but of Urdu and Persian. He wrote to many of his 
Indian friends in Persian and English. In the words of Mr. Saksena, 
“It is unfortunate that no specimen of Dyce Sombre’s verse* In 
Urdu or Persian are available. It is incontrovertible that he 
was a scholar of Persian and Urdu. It is also a fact that he was a 
poet and could even compose verses in English. He had a number 
of books and manuscripts which he took to England and kept them 
as his dearly prized possesssions.” Saksena reproduces certain 
verses in English which were in manuscript and sent by Dyce to 
Lord Eyndhurst. A sample is given below. 



miX’t-ANCr. SOLtirtRS 


45 


1. I hate your dreary English land 
Its clime and hearth so cold; 

Its mercenary altars raised 

To Mammon and his gold. 

2. 1 hate your dreary English land 
Its scandals, trade and mist — 

Where e’en your women’s lips are chilled 
However warmly kissed. 

3. Give me the sunny land of Gaul 
Its bright wines, its wild blisses; 

Give me the Paris Bacchanals 
Dishevelled Locks and Kisses: 

4. Give me French hearts, as light and gay 
As their own glad champagne; 

Give me those Ups that always smile 
Those arms that always strain. 

5. Farewell, my Lord; when next you hare 
Some spouse a ‘madman’ made. 

Don’t let his keepers take him to 
The Burlington Arcade. 

6. For me while France affords a home 
Your land, I ’ll ne’er regret it: 

Shall I e’er cross the sea again 
Here’s wishing you may get it. 

Boulogne. Dyce Sombre” 

In the words of Saksena, ‘‘Dyce’s life was sad and his end tragic, 
but he appeared to be more sinned against than sinning.” 

Hearsay's Petition 

In about 1875, Captain Hearsay, son of General Sir John Bennett 
Hearsay, drew up a petition in verse. One verse was particularly 
significant, as it underlined the discriminatory treatment meted 
out to the Anglo-Indians. It read; 

“We have treated all Indians with kindness 
This Country we’ve made it our own, 

For this reason our children get nothing 
Because they have never been home.” 



CHAPTER IV 


DIFFICULTIES AND SELF-HELP 
The Age of Ricketts and Derozio 
SOME WORTHY NAMES 


T HE next 50 years saw the Community gripped in the fierce 
toils of economic bitterness. The pall of discrimination imposed 
by the British on the fortunes of the Community was, however, 
illumined by a spirit of self-help and sturdy independence. 

Finding the opportunities for soldiering drastically restricted or 
even completely destroyed, the Community branched out into 
trade and commerce. Above all, there was an increasing aware- 
ness of the need for educational facilities in order to equip the 
Community to compete. Numerous private schools were established 
in places like Calcutta. I deal with this aspect rather fully in the 
chapter entitled ‘In the Educational Vanguard'. 

John William Ricketts, who later presented the Anglo-Indian 
petition to the British Parliament, was the centre of the Community’s 
endeavours. Son of Ensign John Ricketts of the Bengal Engineers, 
who fell in the siege or Seringapatam, Ricketts was bom towards 
the close of 1791. He was brought up by some friends who took 
him to Calcutta and placed him in the Upper Military Orphanage 
of Kidderpore. He left the School before he was 1G years of age. 

Ricketts was a person of literary tastes and culture. When a 
boy he enjoyed reading Addison and later in life frequently contri- 
buted polished articles to various journats. He published a series 
of religious addresses and exercises for Sabbath Schools entitled 
‘Feed My Lambs’. By persuasion he was a Baptist. 

Like James Kyd, his great contemporary, Ricketts was a 
thoroughly practical man and whatever he undertook was marked 
by ability, energy and earnestness of purpose. 

On the 26th October, 1816, he married Miss Sarah Gardner 



DimetXTIES AND SELF-11ZIJ> 47 

who was, it is believed* a svard of the Kidderpore Upper Orphan 
School and the daughter of a military officer. She was said to be 
remarkably beautiful and survived her husband by 12 years. 
Besides the children he lost in their infancy, Ricketts had five sons. 
Thomas, the youngest, was killed at Car vn pore during the Mutiny. 

It was the guidance and initiative of Ricketts that Jed to the 
establisluncnt of the Parental Academy in 1823. It was, in fact, 
the first Anglo-Indian school in the sense that it was established 
and administered by Anglo-Indians. I deal with the position 
and ultimate fate of this School in the chapter ‘In the Educational 
Vanguard'. 

In 1828 Ricketts set up the Commercial and Patriotic Association 
with the object of training Anglo-Indians to participate in agri- 
culture, trade and commerce. The Apprenticing Association was 
also started in Calcutta with the object of meeting the premium 
to be paid by Anglo-Indian lads apprenticed to engineering firms. 
In 1828 a Marine School was also established on the Company 
ship ‘Princess Charlotte of Wales’. This was intended to train 
Anglo-Indians for the Merchant Navy. At Bombay, Madras and 
Hyderabad associations were formed to enable Anglo-Indians to 
take up agriculture and qualify for trade and commercial pursuits. 
Many of these commendable efforts were unfortunately blighted 
by a series of bank crashes, throughout the Country, which des- 
troyed the savings oF the bulk of the Community. 

At a meeting held in November, 1825, in Calcutta, it was decided 
to present a petition to the British Parliament. Apparently there 
was a long incubation period before the petition was finalised. A 
Committee was formed which included John Ricketts, H. Derozio, 
C.F. Bym, Wale Bym, William Bym, Willoughby Dacosta, P. 
Mello, G.R. Gardener, J.J.L. Hoff, H. Martindell, C. Pole and 
\V. Stunner. The document passed through the hands of two 
eminent banisters, Theodore Dickens and Mr. (afterwards Sir) 
Thomas Turton. The advocates were paid 40 gold mohurs each 
for their advice : the last-named gentleman also accepted from the 
Committee a gold watch with a chain and seal valued at Rs. 600. 

At a public meeting held in the Town Hall on the 20th April, 
1829, Kidceta unanimous)}’ elected Agent of the East Indians, 
as the Community was then known. It was resolved that he should 
convey the petition to England and that a fund should be raised 



48 THE STOUT OF THE ANGLO'DtpIAN COMSrUIttTT 

for this purpose. Subscriptions amounting to Rs. 17,000 were 
ultimately raised. 

Ricketts arrived in London on the 27th December, 1829, and 
on the 29th March, 1830, the petition was placed before the House 
of Lords by Lord Carlisle and on the 4th May, 1830, before the 
House of Commons by the Hon’ble Mr. W. Wynn. 

Some of the main items of the petition were as follows. 

1. There was no uniform civil law applicable to members 
of the Community. 

2. There was no law governing succession to their property. 

3. There was no law which indicated whether they had the 
right of bequeathing property by will. 

4. There was no law to declare which of their children 
should succeed in case of intestacy. 

Regulation VIII of 1813 of the East India Company 
had expressly included the East Indians as “Native 
subjects of the British Government” and thereby subjected 
them to the same disabilities as members of the other 
communities. 

By Regulation III of 1818 they had been deprived 
of the protection of the Act of Habeas Corpus. 

5. In the interior areas they were subject to Mohammedan 
Criminal Law which often operated not only in an 
arbitrary but barbarous manner. 

6. They were excluded from all superior and covenanted 
offices in the Civil and Military Services, and from all 
sworn offices in the Marine Service of the East India 
Company. This restriction was first adopted by the 
Company on the 9th November, 1791, prior to which 
there was no impediment. 

7. They were not only excluded from superior offices which 
were open to Christian subjects, but they were also 
treated as ineligible for most of those subordinate appoint- 
ments in the Judicial, Revenue and Police Departments 
and even in the Military Service which were open without 
reservation to Hindus and Mohammedans. 

8. By the order of the Commander-In-Chief of His Majesty’s 
Forces dated the 27th February, 1808, they were 



oirricm-Tir-S and srir-iou* 


49 


expressly disqualified from holding Commissions in the 
British Army. 

9. They were not permitted to be employed under the 
Indian Princes without the special permission of the 
Supreme Government. This rule was supposed to apply 
to Europeans and Americans, yet the restriction was 
applied in practice to the East Indians. 

10. Any plan proposed by others or by themselves for 
improvement of the Community, instead or receiving the 
support of the Government, had consistently met not 
only svith neglect but with positive rejection; every 
attempt to provide the blessings of education and improve 
the moral and civil status of the East Indians had invari* 
ably been discountenanced and discouraged by the Court 
of Directors. 

Some of the main points raised by Ricketts in his evidence before 
the House of Lordi’ Committee were as follows. 

The petition had been signed by 600 or 700 persons mast of 
whom were immediately descended from European fathers and 
Indian mothers or from their descendants by intermarriage. 

Ricketts pointed out that Anglo-Indians were not recognised as 
British subjects by the Supreme Court of Calcutta, if residing in 
the mofussil : they were subject to the jurisdiction of the mofussil 
courts which were regulated by Mohammedan Law. They could 
appeal to the Sudder Dewany Adawlat of Calcutta but had no 
right or appeal to the Supreme Court of Calcutta although the 
Dewany Adawlat had the power of enhancing the punishment 
without any fresh evidence being adduced. They were not 
permitted to act as pleaders in any of the courts. 

Members of the Community could not hold a Commission in 
the Company’s or the King’s Army. They might be drummers 
and fiTers, but, as Ricketts pointed out, he was not aware of a single 
instance in which a member of the Community had advanced 
evvn to the rank of Corporal. 

Some members of the Community were admitted in the Civil 
and Military Services prior to the prohibition issued in 1808 by 
the Commander-in-Chief. After that members of the Community 
took service under the Indian States but they were required to 



50 THE STOUT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

return to the Company’s territory on the outbreak of war. Thus 
Anglo-Indian officers with the Mahraua Army from 1801 or 
1802 were ordered back to the Company’s territories on pain of the 
most drastic penalties. 

To use Ricketts' own words, “Treaties with Native States prevent 
Europeans from taking service; but, as in this instance, we arc 
recognised sometimes as Europeans and at other times as natives 
as it suits the purposes of the Government. We are recognised as 
native except within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and 
yet the officers who were emplo>ed by the Mahralta States of 
Scindia and Ilolkar were threatened to be dealt with as traitors 
ir they did not return to the Company's territories!'* 

“The public and private schools for the education of the children 
of East Indians have never received assistance from Government 
in any shape whatever. We are excluded from participating in 
the grant for the education of the natives of India. We outnumber 
the Europeans very considerably and our number is increasing 
owing to the increased number of Europeans and of intermarriages. 
Wc are chiefly employed as clerks in the public offices of Govern- 
ment. During the Nepal War East Indians were employed in the 
Irregular Corps, but the corps was disbanded.” 

Referring to education, Ricketts pointed out that the Community 
were educated at the Orphan Military Asylums, Upper and Lower: 
to the Upper went the orphans of officers who married Indian 
women, to the Lower or British soldiers married to the women of 
the Country. There were also the Parental Academic Institution 
and the Calcutta Grammar School. But there was no opportunity 
for college education in Calcutta except in the Bishop’s College 
which was confined to missionary purposes. 

Ricketts mentioned that members of the Community were 
employed as missionaries and teachers and acquitted themselves 
creditably in those positions. He stated, “The influence they 
possess in such occupations would be very much increased by the 
removal of the restrictions to which they are at present subject. 
It is a thing for which the natives themselves cannot account that 
the Government should reject, as it docs, their own offspring, and 
treat them with marked neglect and proscription.... As natives 
of the Country and as fixtures of the soil, the East Indians might be 
rendered instruments of great good to the Country. If the real 



Duncumts and srxr-unL* 


51 


interests of India be sought, they cannot l« more effectively promoted 
than through the instrumentality of those who base been bom, 
educated, and are destined to spend their lives there.” 

Ricketts gave instances of highly placed Europeans married to 
Indians. Among those he referred to was one Harington, a 
member of the Governor-General’s Council. He also mentioned, 
that, “The ladies ofhalf blood are extensively married to Europeans.” 
Ricketts referred to the fact that many members of the Community 
after having been educated in England, Scotland and Ireland 
were, on return to India, so frustrated by the disabilities imposed on 
them that they often returned to Europe to seek a living there. He 
gave the instance or the son of a British General. The son had 
obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine, but he found the dis- 
crimination in India so intolerable that he returned to England 
in 1825 and practised there. 

In his evidence before the House of Commons’ Committee, on 
the 24th June, 1830, Ricketts mentioned that a large proportion 
of British officers in the Company’s service married women of the 
Community. He pointed out that before 1791, the Company’s 
service. Civil and Military, was open to the Community. Thus, 
stated Ricketts, the Bombay Army was commanded by General 
Jones, a member of the Community, during the campaigns of 1803 
and 1803. The then Quarter-Mastcr-General of the Army, Col. 
Stevenson, was also a member of the Community. Among members 
of the Community in the King’s Army, Ricketts mentioned Major 
Deare, Captain Rutledge, Lt. Mullins and others. He referred to 
Drs. Lumsdcn, Breton and Lyckc, members of the Community in 
the medical profession. Lycke practised in Calcutta and retired 
in England after having amassed a fortune. Members of the 
Community were also engaged as indigo planters, school masters 
and architects. Ricketts referred to the business houses such as 
Lackersteen, Vrignon, Mendes, Baretto and Brightman. He 
mentioned that James Kyd was the master shipbuilder of the 
Company in Calcutta. He referred to the fact that members of 
the Community had been in the Company’s service in various 
professions and were as much respected as any European. 

Ricketts also added, “There is no distinction made by natives 
between East Indians and Europeans: the distinction emanates 
from the authorities of the Country. They first originated the 



52 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

distinction and then used it as an argument for keeping us where 
we are. The prejudices against us have diminished of late. A 
much more liberal policy has been adopted towards the descendants 
of European fathers by native mothers by the Dutch, French, 
Spaniards and Portuguese in all their settlements. Two-thirds of 
the Council of Ceylon are composed of gentlemen born on the 
Island.” 

The petition to Parliament resulted in the insertion of the clause 
in the Charter Act of 1833 proclaiming that all persons without 
reference to birth or colour were eligible for the Civil and Military 
Services of the Government. 

Ricketts’ efforts were warmly appreciated by the Community 
and on his return he was entertained in Madras where he disembar- 
ked. When he arrived in Calcutta, there was a large meeting held 
at the Town Hall on the 28th March, 1831, where he was accorded 
a hearty welcome. 

Charles Potc, the distinguished Anglo-Indian artist of the period, 
painted, free of charge, a portrait of Ricketts, which can still be 
seen in the office of the All-India Anglo-Indian Association in 
New Delhi. 

Ricketts was buried in the old Gaya cemetery at the foot of the 
Ramsila Hill. His grave was marked by an imposing monument 
12 feet high, resting on a base 12 feet square by 2 feet deep, sur- 
mounted by a slab of dark blue basalt. In an obituary notice which 
appeared in the ‘Friend of India* the following tribute was paid : 
"T° his spirit and perseverance the East Indian Community arc 
mainly indebted for the change that has occurred in their position 
in general society and in the regard of the Legislature — a change 
little more than begun, but nevertheless striking, and advancing 
quietly to greater and greater importance and further, “Mr. 
Ricketts was not perhaps largely endowed with the peculiarities 
generally required in an agitator or a popular deputy. He had 
little of that warmth of temperament which attaches the multitude 
to a leader and not much of the suavity and address desirable in an 
Advocate. He gained attention from his earnest honesty of purpose 
and his matter-of-fact sort of argument. In other times these 
qualifications would not have served his purpose, but happily 
there was a spirit abroad which readily sympathised with the claims 
he had to urge.” 



DIFFICULTIES AND SELF-IIELP 


53 


One of the four Houses in the Frank Anthony Public School, 
Calcutta, is named after Ricketts. 

Henry Derosa — First National Bard Of Modern India 

While Ricketts was the public and political spearhead of the 
Anglo-Indian movement of the time, the intellectual and emotional 
leaven was lent especially by the outstanding figure or Henry Louis 
Vivian Derozio. 

Some commentators have put the 10th April, IG09, as the date 
or birth of Derozio. The more authoritative view is that he was 
bom on the 18th April, 1809. This Anglo-Indian boy genius 
was cut off by a cruel fate when he was not yet 23 yean of age. 
Despite the fact that he died so very young, Derozio left behind 
verse which for sheer lyrical beauty, wealth of classical allusion, 
poetic metaphor and vivid imagery make him, in my humble 
opinion, perhaps the greatest poet of English that India has so far 
produced. By some who have studied Dcrozio’s works — the fint 
flowering of his remarkable poetic genius — he has been acclaimed 
as the first national bard of modem India. He has also been 
claimed as Bengali’s Bard. Unfortunately, unlike Rabindranath 
Tagore, there was no one to publicise the quality of Dcrozio’s 
poetry or to give him his rightful place in the pantheon of the poets 
of English. 

Derozio was a typical product of this lime. He svas brought up 
against the background of the repressive economic and social 
system under which the Community laboured. He represented the 
attempt of the ambitious Anglo-Indians to break through the 
chilling round of social and economic disabilities. This book is 
not the proper place to write anything in detail about the out- 
standing quality of Derozio’* verse. No work on Indian history 
and more especially on Indian literature would be complete 
without a special place being accorded to Derozio. His father 
was partly Portuguese and partly Indian. His mother was an 
Englishwoman. Dcrozio’s early education was at the Dhurumtollah 
Academy of David Drummond. Drummond represented one of 
the finest specimens that Scotland had sent out to this Country. 
His influence both scholastic and poetic are said to have created a 
lasting impression on young Derozio. Derozio was only 23 when 
he died. Yet at that young age he had achieved a considerable 



54 


THE STORY OF 


ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


niche for himself both in the world ofletters and in journalism. In 
the words of Cedric Dover, “He was the apostle of freedom, the 
prophet of a united India before India had dreamt of unity.” 
Derozio left school at the age of 14 and yet in the intervening 
period he composed verse of a quality which attracted favourable 
attention even from the London press. 

At 18 he gave up work with his uncle, who was an indigo planter 
at Bhagalpur, and decided to carve out for himself a literary career. 
His first book consisted of several verses and poems which he had 
contributed to various journals. It was an immediate success. 
The second volume was produced early in 1829 and included the 
Fakeer of Jungheera, a Metrical Tale, and other poems. They 
were given a cordial and encouraging review. The New Monthly 
Magazine (March, 1828) remarked, “The thoughts and topics are 
not unusual, but they are expressed and treated with grace, 
elegance and spirit. The language is elevated and poetical; 
and the versification is flowing, polished and serious.” 


At tlus time Derozio was working as Assistant Editor of The 
Gazette . Immediately after the appearance of the Fakeer of 
Jungheera he was appointed as Lecturer in English history and 
literature at the Hindu College. In the words of Cedric Dover, 
He was not yet 19 when he entered upon his new duties, but he 
exercised an influence that remains unrivalled. He shook the Hindu 
religion to its foundations and was the real mover of the theistic 
schism which exists today as the Brahmo Samaj movement of 
Kaja Kammohan Roy, his friend and contemporary.” 
f li C ° n .!ST POrary descr 'kcs Derozio’s outstanding influence as 
o ows, c students in their turn loved him most tenderly and 
were ever ready to be guided by his counsels and imitate him in all 
eir ai y actions in life. In fact, Mr. Derozio acquired such an 
ascen ncy over the minds of his pupils that they would not move 
m their private concerns without his counsel and advice. On the 
r” j C *° s,ered t ^ lc > r taste in literature, taught the evil 
effects of idolatry and superstition, and so far formed their moral 
conceptions and feelmgs as to make them completely above the 
antiquated ideas and aspirations of the age. Such was the force 
of his instruction that the conduct of the students out of the college 
, “P*"* and gained them the applause of the outside 

world, not only m a literary and scientific point of view, but what 



Dim CULT! LS AND SELT-1 !T-U» 55 

na> of Still greater importance, they were ail considered men of 
truth. Indeed, the (Hindu) ‘College boy' was a synonym for 
truth.” 

Early in 1831 Dcrozio was dismissed from the College as his 
dominating influence on the students created a wave of alarm 
among the management which was much too hide-bound by 
convention and tradition to allow Derozio’i radicalism and ques- 
tioning scientific approach to life and values to gain currency among 
the students. Replying to some of the criticism levelled against 
him, Dcrozio wrote, "Entrusted as 1 was for some time with the 
education of youth peculiarly circumstanced, was it for me to hast 
made them pert and ignorant dogmatists, by permitting them to 
lenow what could be said only upon one side of grave questions? 
Setting aside the namnsmess of mind which such a course would 
have evinced, it would have been injurious to the mental energies 
and acquirements of the young men themselves. And (whatever 
may be said to the contrary), I can vindicate my procedure by 
quoting no less orthodox authority than Lord Bacon. ‘If a man’, 
says this philosopher (and no one has a better right to pronounce 
an opinion upon such matters than Lord Bacon), ‘will begin with 
certainties he shall end in doubt.’ This, I need scarcely observe, 
is always the case with contented ignorance when it is roused too 
late to thought .... If the religious opinions or the students have 
become unhinged in consequence of the course I have pursued, the 
fault is not mine. To produce convictions was not within my 
power; and if I am to be condemned for the Atheism of some, 
let me receive credit for the Theism of others. Believe me, my 
dear Sir, I am too thoroughly imbued with a deep sense of human 
ignorance, and of the perpetual vicissitudes of opinion, to speak 
with confidence even of the most important matters. Doubt and 
uncertainty besiege us too closely to admit the boldness of dog- 
matism to enter an enquiring mind; and far be it from me to say 
‘this is* and ‘that is not’, when after the most extensive acquain- 
tance with the researches of science, and after the most daring 
flight of genius, we must confess with sorrow and disappointment 
that humility becomes the highest wisdom, for the highest wisdom 
assures man of his ignorance.” 

Indignantly refuting the accusation of inculcating parental 
disrespect, he quotes instances to prove that he has ‘always 



56 


THE STOUT or THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


endeavoured to cherish the sentimental feelings of the heart, and to 
direct them into proper channels’, though he condemns ‘that 
feigned respect which some children evince, as being hypocritical 
and injurious to the moral character’. The third charge he dis- 
misses as ‘ridiculous’, remarking that ‘it is a satisfaction to reflect 
that scandal, though often noisy, is not everlasting’. And in 
concluding he enquires pertinently ‘whether the expediency of 
yielding to popular clamour can be offered in justification of the 
measures adopted by the Managers of the College towards me?’ 
He believed that there was a determination on their part to get 
rid of him, ‘not to satisfy popular clamour, but their own bigotry’, 
but feels that ‘to complain of their injustice would be paying them 
a greater compliment than they deserve’. 

Cedric Dover writes, “We get an insight of the remarkable 
qualities of Derozio’s mind and thinking to say the least for a 
young man of barely 22. These are indicative of his extraordinary 
character and ability. Dcrozio now took seriously to journalism. 
He had a vast circle of the most influential friends which included 
leading figures among the Anglo-Indians, the British Community and 
the Hindus. He organised and edited the ‘East Indian’ which 
rapidly grew in influence. It is said of this paper that it advocated, 
‘the claims of every question, honest and true and liberal, with an 
eloquence and ability and a power of judgment of which East Indians 
may well be proud. At the same time he contributed to a host of 
other journals. Most of these contributions were poems.” 

Derozio s intellectual pursuits were not only deep but also 
diversified. To quote Cedric Dover once again, “It is known, 
however, that he translated the work of De Maupertuis on Moral 
Philosophy, that he delivered a series of lectures on philosophy 
before crowded audiences, and that he wrote a criticism of Kant, 
which Dr. Mill said was ‘perfectly original and displayed powers 
or reasoning and observation which would not disgrace even gifted 
philosophers.’ And his contemporaries were fond of saying that 
there were only two places where the most recent books issued by 
British publishers could be found- the shelves of the most enter- 
prising booksellers and the library of Derozio, frequently the latter 


Continuing Dover writes, “But the fruits of philosophy need ti 
an atmosp ere to mature and Derozio missed both. So 



57 


Dirnctanrs and szrr-ir m 

cannot add hi. nmne to the toil %£**££££. 
but we can accord him a rUcc m F* ”7 of lhc Romantic 

melted melancholy, the me love of myho.o gy^ . n d the » 
command over the remurce. of the ^Inhhm^ 1 " 
error to deaeribe him. a. certain uninformed cn Um OO, ^ ^ 

imitation Romantic, though much of hu verm „ 

Dover continues, “The r akccr 01 jungn . F nc han- 

io dramatic touche., in gem. of poetic metapho r, I d 

tie Of the Cave, tvid, to mhu.tne,. andfrfeh.y, of^ela 

earnests of Dcrouo s potential abi i y. simple 

that he i, a. hi. hot. Here we can enjoy « * hm 

heautiea of nature, and appreciate the vigo , f ^ 

patriotism which permeated hi. hfe and . «*• Harp of y 
Country', he erica. Me. me ..rite the .tram -and he pour, 
song. Such song as this: 


“Oh, Freedom! there is something dear 
Even in thy very name. 

That lights the altar of the soul 
With everlasting flame. 

Success attend the patriot sword. 

That is unsheathed for thee! 

And glory to the breast that bleeds, 
Bleeds nobly to be free! 

Blest be the generous hand that breaks 
The chain a tyrant gave. 

And feeling for degraded man 
Gives freedom to the slave!” 


“Or this: 

“My Country! in thy day of glory past 
A beauteous halo circled round thy brow. 
And worshipped as a deity thou wast. 



58 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Where is that glory, where that reverence now? 

Thy eagle pinion is chained down at last, 

And grovelling in the lowly dust art thou : 

Thy minstrel hath no wreath to weave for thee 
Save the sad story of thy misery! 

Well — let me dive into the depths of time, 

And bring from out the ages that have rolled 
A few small fragments of those wrecks sublime. 

Which human eye may never more behold; 

And let the guerdon of my labour be 
My fallen Country! one kind wish from thee’.' 

“And if he was melancholy, it was the melancholy that impels 
action. He was too vigorous, too philosophical, to be actually 
depressing. He knew that 

. .man’s energies can make 
An atmosphere around him, and so take 
Good out of evil, like the yellow bee 
That sucks from flowers malignant, a sweet treasure — 

O tyrant fate! Thus shall I vanquish thee, 

For out of suffering shall I gather pleasure.” 

“So the note of hope rings through much of his verse, as in these 
lines : 

“Your hand is on the helm— guide on, young men, 

The bark that’s freighted with your Country’s doom, 

Your glories are but budding; they shall bloom 

Like fabled amaranth Elysian, when 

The shore is won, even now within your ken, 

And when your touch shall dissipate the gloom 
That long has made your Country hut a tomb, 

Or worse than tomb, the priest’s, the tyrant’s den. 

Guide on young men; your course is well begun; 

Hearts that are tuned to holiest harmony 
With all that e’en in thought is good, must be 
Best formed for deeds like those which shall be done 
By you hereafter rill your guerdon’s won 
And that which now is hope becomes reality.” 



rnmcwnrs akd jrtHtni 


59 


"And there b hope become reality in thh enthusiastic fragment : 

“Towards yon grey We the waters flow. 

Then, brothrn, brothers, bravely row. 

The rising gale hath filled our sail, 

It bends our slender mast; 

And now the word b, tike a bird 
We’ll reach our home at last • ■ • • 

And seel our ble of rock is won 

Now, brothers, brothers, bravely done.” 

“Finally, there b this bright and poetic vision of the future in 
which he sees : 

through mists of coming years 
'rising spirit speaking peace to man. 

The storm b passing, and the Rainbow’s span 
Stretched from North to South; the ebon car 
of darkness rolls away; the breezes fan 
The infant dawn, and morning's herald star 
Comes trembling into day. O! can the sun be Car?” 

I have referred to the fact that when Ricketu returned from 
England there was a meeting in the Town Hall of Calcutta on 
the 28th of March of that year. At that meeting Pote, the famous 
Anglo-Indian artbt, proposed that a second petition should be 
presented to the new Parliament. In seconding thb proposal 
Derozio made a speech which b significant not only for its language, 
but also for hb appraisal of the supercilious, if not indifferent, 
attitude which the average British Parliamentarian could be 
expected to show to the efforts or the East Indians to secure better 
treatment and improvement of their position. Derozio said, 
“What have we hitherto done?” he asked, “What have we yet 
obtained? Have our rights been restored, our claims conceded? 
No, Sir, we have but just taken the field. And now shall we rest 
upon our Arms? The spirit of exclusion has only been startled 
upon hb throne. But there sits the demon still, mocking our 
efforts, and grinning over his triumph. Our hearts must not 
falter, our nerves must not slacken, let us not trust our cause to 



60 THE STORY OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

men, who have nothing for us but empty professions .... Do you 
suppose that any member of the Legislature, touched by so much 
tenderness, will address either House of Parliament in some such 
way as this? — “Gentlemen, here am I, overflowing with the milk 
of human kindness, anxious to restore to that long-neglected and 
unjustly treated race, the East Indian, those rights WHICH THEY 
DO NOT DEMAND THEMSELVES.” 

“No, Sir, such will never be the language of legislators. The 
benevolence of statesmen seldom incommodes them to such an 
alarming degree. And the very facts which Mr. Ricketts’ Report 
communicates to us, should lead us to distrust noble Lords and 
Honourable gentlemen. What are those facts? Lord Ashley 
felt for us! We thank hb Lordship. He promised to present our 
Petition. This was generous. But, when the time came for hb 
Lordship's hand to follow up the benevolent suggestions of hb 
heart, that hand became suddenly paralysed. Weighty matters 
of State pressed upon hb mind, and the Petition was left to make 
its own way into the House of Commons. I am apprehensive 
(though I only suggest the possibility) that matters of State may be 
as burdensome to our other sympathising friends in Parliament, 
that such paralytic attacks, as we sec do sometimes affect Lord 
Ashley, may be common to others who are deeply interested in our 
welfare. To protect ourselves against such mischances, it would 
not, perhaps, be the most unwbc course to petition the Legislature 
again.” 

"Gentlemen, you have nothing to fear from firm and respectful 
remonstrance. Your calls for justice must be as incessant as your 
grievances are heavy. Complain again and again. Complain 
till you are heard — aye, and until you are answered. The ocean 
leaves traces of every inroad it makes upon the shore. But it must 
repeat those inroads with unabated strength, and follow them up 
with rapidity, before it washes away the strand.” 

British commentators on Dcrozio have written mostly with typical 
arrogance and with the inhibitions of European smugness and self- 
assumed superiority. Typically, Bradley Birt has twisted the whole 
motive of Derozio to suit this European sense of overweening 
arrogance. Thus in ‘Harp of My Country’ Derozio has apost- 
rophised the deadening effect on the Indian people of slavery and 
colonialbm, obviously sineintr in the law Indian context. Yet 



DimCULmS AND SELF-1 IW 


61 


Bradley Birt perverts this motive to suit his own imperial ballet 
and would confine Dcrozio's lament merely to the wrongs which 
had been done by the British to his own Community. 

Speaking on the occasion of Dcrozio’s anniversary in 1926 
Professor B.B. Roy, a well-known professor of English in the 
Calcutta University, among other things said, "I am quite convinced 
that full justice lias not been done to him and to refer to him as 
‘the Keats of Angto-Indian Literature’ is, to my way of thinking, an 
entirely wrong way of looking at him. English literature is one 
and indivisible; the bisection of it on a racial basis is unfortunate 
in the extreme and should not be tolerated. Tire best that has 
been written in the English language is worthy of a place even in 
the most exclusive histories of English literature, no matter what 
colour the skin of the writer may have. Towards pure artists like 
Derozio, there should be a more liberal attitude than lias been 
displayed by European writers on Anglo-Indian literature.” 

Concluding his lecture, Professor Roy said, “From whatever 
point of view, therefore, we might look at Derozio, we must be struck 
by his greatness, his nobility, his fineness of temper and maturity 
of - mind. Every Bengali and every Anglo-Indian should study hij 
life and his life’s work as an essential part of their education. This 
should be particularly so today. He was the prophet of a United 
India, before there was an awakening, either among Indians or 
among Anglo-Indians. This message of unity and concord comes 
with singular force in a time which is troubled by unhealthy and 
blundering communalism and by a deep unsetllemcnt of political 
and social values.’’ 

Derozio was struck down by cholera and died on Monday, the 
26th December, 1831, and not on Saturday, the 23rd December, 
as stated by Thomas Edwards. Owen Aratoon in his edition of 
"Derozio’s Poems” (1872) reproduced a photograph taken from 
a lithographic miniature published by Stapleton. A copy of this 
today hangs in the office of the All-India Anglo-Indian Association, 
New Delhi. It shows Derozio dressed in a high-collared dress-coat 
which was the fashion of the day, his neck swathed in the white 
neck-cloth which was also the fashion of the day. The photograph 
shows that he had a round face and long black hair which was 
parted in the middle. He was slightly built and had the reputation 
of dressing not only carefully but foppishly. Some commentators 



62 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

referred to him as very dark, but others have questioned this 
description. Some writers have said that he suffered from much 
conceit: others referred to this as more a pride in the knowledge 
of his outstanding qualities. He was generally acclaimed as a 
person with a loyal, kind and affectionate temper. Some writers 
have deplored the fact that neither the people of Bengal nor the 
Anglo-Indians have thought to raise an appropriate monument to 
Dcrozio. Mr. Susobhan Sarkar writing the foreword to a recent 
publication edited by Mr. Subir Ray Choudhuri referred to 
Dcrozio as ‘A great son of Bengal’ and suggested the erection of a 
statue preferably in the neighbourhood of that of David Hare, 
the other famous benefactor in the early history of modem edu- 
cation in India, the rebuilding of the burial place of Dcrozio and the 
renaming after him the road near Moolali where he lived and died. 

One of the four Houses of the Frank Anthony Public School in 
Calcutta is named after Dcrozio. 

Some Worthy Names 

Charles Pole 

In this sub-chapter I have made a reference to a few worthy 
Anglo-Indians. Hundreds of worthy names have been lost in the 
mists of time. The achievements of hundreds of others have not 
been chronicled or have been filched for the British Community. 

Charles Pole was perhaps the greatest artist that the Community 
has so far produced. He was a contemporary of Derozio at 
Drummond’s Academy where he received a sound education. 
Leaving school he followed the advice of James Kyd and instead of 
entering Government service in a subordinate capacity, decided 
to pursue his special talents and opened an artist’s studio in 
Dhurrumtollah street. He was fairly successful in his profession. 
Eventually he became the Headmaster of the Dacca Pogose School, 
an institution founded by Nicholas Pogose. While in Calcutta 
Pote took a great interest in the Parental Academy. He also took 
a prominent part in the movement that led to a petition of the 
Community to Parliament presented by Ricketts. When Ricketts 
returned from England, Pote made an eloquent speech. On 
that occasion aTter he resumed his seat, Derozio addressed the 
meeting. He began by observing that had it been his desire to 



DIFnCVLTIES AND SEIF-HELP 63 

attract admiration, the brilliant address of his friend, Mr. Tote, 
-would deter him from making such an attempt. 

Pote excelled as a miniature painter. Among his larger pro* 
ductions, however, was the portrait of Lord Metcalfe which was, 
at one time, in the Town Hall of Calcutta, and another portrait 
of David Hare in the Hare School, a painting of William Ricketts 
•which now' liangs in the office of the All-India Anglo-Indian 
Association, and the Altar piece at the Armenian Church of Dacca. 
A painting of Derozio was apparently lost or destroyed. 

Two companion pictures by him entitled L' Allegro and II 
Penseroso were much admired at Dacca. He died at Dacca and 
was followed by a crowd of pupils and admirers. 

Tote was a free-thinker and was laid to rest without the rites of 
Christian burial. Our artist sleeps in a nameless and forgotten 
grave. 

James Kyd 

Bom in 178G, James Kyd was the son of Col. Robert Kyd, 
Bengal Engineers, Military Secretary to the Governor. The 
father, Col. Kyd, wrote a celebrated research work on Botany. 
He was responsible for laying out the Royal Botanical Gardens, 
James and his brother Robert were sent as boys to England to get 
a training in shipbuilding. On their return in 1800 they were 
apprenticed to one Waddell who wasat that time Master Shipbuilder 
to the East India Company. Seven years later the brothers pur- 
chased the dockyard of Kydcrporc which later on passed into the 
hands of Government. Both this suburb and Kyd street are named 
after the family. It is also probable that Kyd-ganj in Allahabad 
and Kyd island owed their names to the same source. 

James Kyd succeeded to the position of Master Shipbuilder to 
the East India Company. In 1814 he visited England in a vessel 
which he had constructed and named ‘General Kyd’ after his father. 
James Kyd was held in the greatest esteem by the Governor-General. 
He rendered yeoman service to members of the Community. He 
was the author of several pamphlets in which he advised the lads 
of the Community to look away from Government service and 
strike out for themselves independent sources of livelihood instead 
ol treading on each other’s heels in their hurry to enter the lower 
grades of Government service. 



64 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

James Kyd was a member of the Asiatic Society. He was also 
a member of the Management of the Parental Academy which was 
founded by the Anglo-Indians in 1823. He died on the 26th 
October, 1836, at the age of 50. The Governor- General wished to 
have a public funeral m his honour but it was declined by his 
brother with modesty. A Bengal obituary observed, “Mr. James 
Kyd was universally recognised as the Head of the East Indian 
Class to which he belonged. Where will they ever find his equal?” 

Captain John Doveton 

Doveton is an illustrious name, often mentioned in the history 
of the campaigns in Afghanistan, Mysore and Central India. 
Although neglected by his relatives, John belonged to this house. 
One of his uncles, when making enquiries after his dead brother, 
found that the brother's son was a poor, friendless orphan at a 
charity school in Madras. He succeeded in obtaining for his 
nephew a commission in the army of the Nizam of Hyderabad. 
John’s service dated from the 21st March, 1817. He rose to be the 
Captain Commandant of the 7th Regiment of Infantry — a rank 
next to that of a Brigadier. John Doveton inherited a large 
fortune. He resigned his commission and went to London, where 
he died in 1853. Doveton was of the Baptist persuasion and his 
political views were ultra-radical in character. 

John Doveton took a great interest in the education of the 
Community and bequeathed £ 50,000 for that purpose. This 
sum was equally divided between the Parental Academy of 
Calcutta, the name of which was then changed to the Doveton 
College, and the Doveton Protestant College founded at Madras. 
An oil painting of Doveton hangs, today, in the office of the All- 
India Anglo-Indian Association, New Delhi. 

Lawrence de Souza 

Lawrence Augustus de Souxa was a partner of the firm of Messrs. 
Thomas de Souza & Co. He was the nephew of the late Count 
Anthony de Souza. The Community has occasion to remember 
his name with gratitude for the trusts he left. These trusts continue 
to enure for the benefit of members of the Community. 

The Lawrence de Sou2a scholarships are looked after by the 
Official Trustee of West Bengal in which task he is assisted by an 



oimaxms and sas-inzr 65 

Advisory Committee which includes of a nominee of the All-India 
Anglo-Indian Association. These scholarships Here originally 
awarded to Anglo-Indians going overseas to compete for the I.C.S. 
Today, the scholarships are awarded Jo Anglo-Indians preparing 
for the I-A.S. or the Central Government Sendee examinations: 
a few are also given for other courses of study. 

The dc Souza Homes, another Trust founded by Lawrence de 
Souza, are administered by the official Trustee of West Bengal : 
he is assisted by the nominees of the Calcutta branch of the All- 
India Anglo-Indian Association and the Calcutta Rangers Club. 

Lawrence de Souza died in London on the 27th September, 
1871. His remains were brought to India and were buried in the 
Church of the Sacred Heart, Calcutta, which had been erected 
by his grandmother, Mrs. Pascoa Barretto de Souza. 

His brother. Sir Walter Eugene de Souza, was educated partly 
in England at Downside College, Somerset. Sir Walter svas Consul 
for Portugal at Calcutta 1870-1878 and Consul-General from 1878 
to 1884. He was member for Westminster on the London County 
Council. For his munificence to charities he was knighted in 
1879. He was also a Count of the Roman Empire and held other 
foreign distinctions. Walter Eugene de Souza also founded a trust 
for the Community : it is a comparatively small trust and is adminis- 
tered by the de Souza-and-Doucett Charitable Trust. 

Sir Robert IVarburton 

Robert Warburton was the son of Lt. Col. Robert Warburton 
of the Royal Artillery who married an Afghan lady, the niece of 
Amir Dost Mohammad. The son was educated at Mussoorie and 
later in England. He came out to India with a commission in the 
Royal Artillery and served in the 21st Punjab Infantry in the 
Abyssinian campaign of 1868. He was appointed to the Punjab 
Commission in 1870. He is famous for his work in the Khyber 
where he was political officer from 1879 to 1897 and became a 
legendary figure. Warburton raised the Khyber Rifles. He was 
awarded the CSI in 1890, became Brevet-Colonel in 1893 and 
served in the Tirah expedition from 1897-1898. He was decorated 
with the K.C.I.E. in 1 893. His book ‘Eighteen Years in the Khyber* 
was published in 1900. He was known as the “Warden of the 
Khyber’. 



66 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Sir William Willcox 

Although the Encyclopaedia Brittanica refers to Sir William 
Willcox as a British engineer, he was obviously a member or the 
Community. Born and educated in India, he qualified as an 
engineer from Roorkee. He designed and carried through the 
Aswan Dam in 1898. His most important undertaking, however, 
was the irrigation of 3,500,000 acres in Mesopotamia which began 
in 1911. 

Sir George Kellner 

George Kellner was one of the most respected members of the 
Community and played an active part in the promotion of its 
interests. He was educated at the Parental Academy, the school 
founded by the Community. After that he entered the service 
of the Government of India and was Inspector-General of Accounts. 
After that he was Financial Commissioner and a member of Council 
in Cyprus from 1878 to 1883. He then became the Assistant 
Paymaster-General in the Court or Chancery in 1884. He was 
decorated with the K.C.M.G. in 1879 and died on the 10th June, 
1886. 

Watts — Dewan of Travancore 

Son of an Anglo-Indian, bom and brought up in the Travancore' 
State, Watts received his early education in the Maharaja’s College. 
He went to England where he was called to the Bar and then 
returned to India. He was Dewan of Travancore for several years. 

Doctor Wallace M.D. 

The date of birth of James Robert Wallace is given as the 20th 
January, 1856. He was educated at the Lawrence Military School, 
Sanawar, and the Medical College, Calcutta. He went to England 
for further studies in 1879 where he qualified for the M.D,- He 
returned and entered Government service but resenting the dis- 
abilities imposed on the Anglo-Indians he resigned. In' 1892 he 
was a director of the Eurasian and Anglo-Indian Association. 
At that time the term ‘Eurasian’ was applied to the Community, 
and the term ‘Anglo-Indian 1 to Europeans settled in the Country. 
In 1897 and again in 1902 he was deputed to represent the 
grievances of the Community to the Secretary of State and members 



DtmCCLTlCS AND SEIX-HEL? G7 

of Parliament. Nothing t* knoum of the result*, if any, of ha 
representations. In 1901 he was elected President of the Imperial 
Anglo-Indian Association. In another Chapter I have referred to 
his grandiloquent proclamation to the Anglo-Indians, “That 
Britishers we are and Britishers we ever must be.” He, however, 
laboured hard for the Community. He died in 1903. 

Thomas Beale 

Thomas William Beale started life as a clerk in the office of the 
Board of Revenue of the North West Province as it was then known. 
He was a profound scholar and assisted Sir II. M. Elliot in his 
work on the Mohammedans in India. He wrote the ‘Miftah-ul- 
Tawarikh* and an Oriental Biographical Dictionary. He died at 
a very ripe age in 1875 at Agra. 

Charles Richard Hardless 

Charles Richard Hardless died on the 19th July, 1944, at the 
vintage age of 78. He retired as the handwriting expert to the 
Government of India. If ever a man deserved the epithet of 
self-made it was Hardless. He started life well down at the bottom 
of the ladder. He rose to be the first official handwriting expert 
to the Government of India. He has been referred to as “The 
Father of the Handwriting profession’ in India. 

Leaving school he joined the Telegraph Department on Rs. 50/- 
a month. He brought to bear on his work his innate sense of 
devotion to duty. He was made Superintendent of his office at 
an exceptionally early age. But Hardless was looking for fresh 
avenues. At that time he came into contact with handwriting 
identification work. He pursued it with characteristic energy 
and thoroughness. It was not long before he acquired such 
efficiency that he attracted official attention and his services were 
requisitioned by his own Department, the Posts & Telegraphs. 
He studied and worked till his knowledge and efficiency grew 
and the post of handwriting expert was created by the Central 
Government. 

As time went on, he became more and more absorbed in his 
work. He soaked himself in it, ate it, drank it and dreamed of it. 
He wrote books and articles and evolved certain theories and 
principles which came to be recognised not only in India but 



68 Tire STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COiMUNTIT 

abroad. One of his books is a standard work on the subject of 
handwriting. The name or Hardless is still a legend not only 
among handwriting experts but the legal profession throughout 
the Country. From 1920 to 1921 he was Honorary General 
Secretary of the All-India Anglo-Indian Association when Gidney 
was the President-in-Chief. 

H.J. Mullev.eu.x- — OBE, J.P. 

Harry J. Mulleneux died on the 6th November, 1958, at the age 
of 70. He was educated in Bangalore. After completing his 
apprenticeship in Bombay he joined the G.l.P. (now the Central 
Railway) in the bottom rung. From this humble beginning he rose 
to the top and retired as Chief Electrical Engineer. 

Mulleneux was an inventive genius and put into use many electri- 
cal devices. One of his important contributions was the electrifica- 
tion of the railway up to Igatpuri and Poona. During World War 
II his services were enlisted by the War Office in London. He was 
largely responsible for the device which led to the mine-detector 
and the elaboration of mine-sweepers. He was decorated 
for his services with the OBE. A loyal worker of the All-India 
Anglo-Indian Association, he was elected to represent the Com- 
munity in the Bombay Legislature. That was when the 
Community had elected seats. 

Frank Clinger Scallan 

Bom in Calcutta in 1870, Frank Clinger Scallan was a well- 
known Anglo-Indian artist and writer. Scallan completed his 
education at the Calcutta Boys’ School after which he joined the 
Survey of India, where he served for more than 40 years. After 
his retirement from service he spent much time in Europe. He 
travelled to England, France, Itaty and Spain a number of times 
and was a pupil of the late Jean Paul Laurence Academic Julian 
in Paris. His works were exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy, 
Paris Salon and also in various art exhibitions all over India. He 
got the highest awards for black and white in India and a silver 
medal in the Calcutta Fine Art Exhibition in 1924. He was 
elected a member or the Graphic Art London in 1920 and a member 
correspondente of Soc. des. Aquafertistcs (Society of French 
Etchers) the same year. 



nirncxi-Tits and srxr-i mu 


69 


HU etching* were particularly noteworthy. The titles of some 
of tus original Indian and Foreign etchings were, Kashtaharani 
Ghat, Monghyr, 1901, A Riverside Temple, Monghyr, 1903, A 
City Gateway, Lahore, 1917, The Ajmer Gate, Old Delhi, 1918, 
The Women’s Bathing Steps, Udaipur, Rajputana, 1918, Proladh 
Ghat, Benaras, 1919, A Ballygunge Tank, Calcutta, 1919, In the 
Court of the Golden Mosque, Lahore, 1919, A Street in Udaipur, 
Rajputana, 1920, The Canal Chitpur, Calcutta, 1920, The Sweet- 
meat Seller, BIshnath Temple, Benaras, 1920, A Lascar's Tea 
Shop, Kidderpore, 1921, A Persian Wheel, Lahore, 1921, Stairway 
in the Bazar, Darjeeling, 1924, The Non-Cooperator, 1924, A 
Kashmir Beggar, Lahore Baba Mast Ram Das, 1927, The Inverted 
Ploughs, 1928, In the Bazar, Delhi, 1936, The Kos-Miner in the 
Field, Delhi, The House on the Wall, Lahore, The Cloud Messenger, 
Isola dei Pescatori, Lake Maggiorc, 1934, Rio San Pole, Venice, 
1934, Rio S. Formosa, Venice, 1934, Antilerj, South of France. 

Salhn's paintings and sketches included, The Swayam vara cf 
Yasodhara, Buddha in the Forest, Camel Rider, the Taj Mahal, 
Brindaban BIhari Ghat, The Tatau, The Temple of Jbangira and 
Jammu Masjid, Darjeeling, Poster 'Inverted Plough' (Kalka 
Farming), Mahabarat, The Tobacconist, Simla Hills 26, Pictures of 
the Alphabets Vendors-Malaga, Spitans Coffee House, Market Place, 
San Remo, Italy, All that is left of the Old Residency of Cossimbazar, 
1921, San Remo (Sketch), War svith Prithvi Raj, Illustrations in 
the Indian King Reader, Book II. 

After his return from Europe, Scallan took to writing mainly of 
a historical nature. He was an illustrator for various important 
publishers and Government departments in India. He was also 
a poet. 

Scallan lived to the age of SO. He died in November, 1950, 
and was survived by his widow who was still living in Calcutta. 



CHAPTER V 


ANGLO-INDIANS AND THE 
MUTINY 


T O write of the valour and exploits of the Anglo-Indians during 
the Mutiny or the First War of Independence, as it will probably 
be redesignated, is a delicate if not politically dangerous task. In 
his book entitled ‘The Call of the Blood’ Stark has recorded, often 
in detail, accounts of the decisive, sometimes seemingly superhuman, 
heroism of Anglo-Indian men and women. The task is delicate, 
because to write unreservedly about events in India at that parti- 
cular period might easily be misunderstood in an Independent 
India. And yet no account of the Community would be even 
partially complete without some narrative of the position and the 
heroism of the Community during that critical period. There is 
no intention to apportion blame. Whatever is written should not 
be misunderstood. It is part of the scroll of history. Anglo- 
Indian valour, reckless heroism, disregard of danger and death 
should not be interpreted as a glorification or any anti-Indian 
feeling, no more than to record the part played by the Sikhs would 
be to portray the Sikhs as being anti-Indian. 

The deeds and services of the Community during that period do 
not represent anything of which they should be ashamed. According 
to their history, tradition and background they did their duty. 
In fact, they served beyond the call of duty. It is this aspect of 
courage, of devotion to duty that this period serves to throw up in 
bold relief. These qualities, in fact, run through the history of 
the Community : they have projected themselves in the service of 
Anglo-Indians to Independent India. 

An adequate record is difficult, because of the trend to be found 
throughout British Indian history of lumping the exploits of the 
Community with those of the British. No real attempt has ever 
been made to distinguish between the achievements of the Anglo- 
n am an the British. Certain features, however, stand out. 



ANGLO-INDIANS AND TUT. UUTTST 


71 


The British administration was caught not only unprepared but 
was shaken to its foundations and might veil liavc been completely 
overrun. Some of those who have written of the Anglo-Indian 
contribution have stated, on good authority, that but for the part 
played by the Community British Indian history might have been 
differently written. This is said not in any anti-Indian spirit nor 
in any spirit of overweening self-adulation. 

. The Mutiny was characterised by excesses and atrocities on both 
sides. In the first fury of the Mutiny, Anglo-Indians equally with 
Europeans were caught up in a maelstrom of violence and sudden 
death. Usually no attempt was made by mutinous troops or 
those who joined them to distinguish between Europeans and 
Anglo-Indians. Whole families of Anglo-Indians were wiped out. 
In his book Stark gives lurid details of almost indescribable indivi- 
dual heroism on the part of Anglo-Indian men and women caught 
up in an orgy of mob violence and other excesses. It would take a 
considerable volume to refer in any detail to the exploits of the 
Community at this flaming period in India's history. Only the 
briefest reference to some of the outstanding exploits is possible. 

Delhi And The Punjab 

The first name that comes to mind is that of the Anglo-Indian 
youth Brcndish. Brendish, who was only 18 years of age, was a 
telegraphist posted at Delhi. Only a few years before the electric 
telegraph had been introduced into India. At twilight during the 
period of evensong on the memorable Sunday, the 1 Oth May, the 
Mutiny broke out unexpectedly and prematurely at Meerut. The 
message was flashed by telegraph to Delhi. It was received by 
the Anglo-Indian telegraphists George Brendish, Charles Todd 
and Pilkington. Meanwhile the storm of the mutiny had burst 
also over Delhi. Todd went out to repair the telegraph line 
between Delhi and Meerut which had been cut. He was met by 
rebel troops and killed. A stream of refugees from Delhi and the 
surrounding areas hurried past the telegraph office which Brendish 
and Pilkington refused to leave. Brendish kept flashing messages 
to wherever it was possible to send them. Unable to get into 
touch with Meerut, he sent the following telegram to Ambala, 
“We must leave office. All the bungalows are being burnt down 
by the sepoys of Meerut. They came in this. morning. We aie 



72 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

off. Don’t call today. Mr. C. Todd is dead, we think. He went 
out this morning, and has not returned yet. We heard that nine 
Europeans were lulled. Good bye.” From Ambala this message 
was relayed to Lahore, from there to Peshawar and other military 
stations of Punjab. As a result sepoys throughout the Punjab 
were disarmed. Referring to this action on the part of Brendish 
Sir Herbert Edwards speaking to a London audience said, “Just 
look at the courage and sense of duty which made that boy, with 
shots and cannon all round him, manipulate that message which, 
I do not hesitate to say, was the means of the salvation of the 
Punjab.” Sir Robert Montgomery, Judicial Commissioner of the 
Punjab, was even more emphatic when he said, “The electric 
telegraph saved India.” These words are inscribed on the obelisk 
which stands in the compound of the Delhi Telegraph Office and 
which was unveiled by Lord Curzon in 1902. Curzon repeated 
Montgomery’s words. Little is known of what became of 
Pilkington. 

Brendish was not, as some historians have written, killed after 
sending the message. After Delhi had fallen he joined the Meerut 
Light Hone which was recruited from the uncovenantcd services 
and consisted of a large number of Anglo-Indians. From there 
he joined the Bengal Yeomanry Cavalry, another predominantly 
Anglo-Indian Unit, which was disbanded in 1895. After this 
Brendish rejoined the Telegraph Department. The manner and 
the quantum of the recognition of his services arc significant. They 
are significant for the tardy and niggardly manner in which Anglo- 
Indian achievement, however outstanding, was recognised or 
appreciated by the British administration. He was made a gift 
of a month’s pay which was Rs. 30 or £ 2. After a proper 
period of forgetfulness, lasting over 40 years, the next instalment of 
recognition came with his retirement on full pay. In 1902 a final 
instalment of recognition, properly modulated, was made to 
Brendish in the shape of a Medal of the Victorian Order. 

The major contribution of Brendish to the salvation of the Punjab 
from being overrun by the mutinous troops was complemented by 
the exploits of another Anglo-Indian, General Henry Van Cort- 
landt. The Punjab has been known traditionally as the ‘Sword 
Arm* of India. The v message from Brendish had enabled tens of 
thousands of potential '.mutineers to be disarmed. In spite of that 


AXClOlNDUXi AND Tltt WtTST 4 

to to osxr 30,000 «foy, «ho H>J 1«» *" 


Punjab and who bad joined other mulinoui elctnrnu. Then 
wm> nnlv a handful of British worn \n *» we* ««1 t.^tcyino 


were only jIumuw*— • ,, . ,, . „ 

with those units or Indian raiments that could be rclrft! upon 
were too inadequate to dal with the widespread dcpmlauoni- 
The Grand Trunk Road up to Delhi and beyond hid w be Vcpt 
open, isolated communities of Europeans protected, if possible, 
from the general carnage which had swept over several families 
caught up in out-of-the-way places. The administration seas 
desperate and virtually helpless. To their rescue came an Anglo- 
Indian, one of the romantic and legendary figures of Anglo-Indian 
history. He "is Henry Van Cortlandt. 

Van CortlandtT MOry is typical of the milieu in which the 
Anglo-Indian had to struggle and also typical oT die cruel social 
and economic policies which were part of the then llrithh code in 
India. Henry was the son of Lt. Col. Henry Clinton Van Cortlandt 
of the Company’s Army. The ion wai educated in England and 
given a military training. He returned to India hoping to get a 
commission alongside hvs father in the Company’s fortes, but as 
with the majority of the Anglo-Indians the policies of prejudice 
proved too much. Because or his Indian blood from his mother** 
side, Van Cortlandt was denied admission into the Company's 
army. Trained to soldiering he took service with Ranjit Singh, 
the lion of the Punjab. When the fust Sikh War broke out Van 
Cortlandt took up service with the British and was appointed as a 
Political Officer. On the cessation or the hostilities he was re- 
employed by Ranjit Singh. With die outbreak of the second 
Sikh War Van Cortlandt was embodied in General Edwards* army. 
He rendered particularly distinguished service in the battle of 
Multan. 


With the annexation of the Punjab, Van Cortlandt joined the 
civil service. When the Mutiny broke out he was performing his 
duties as a civil servant. With growing restlessness he watched the 
tide rising against the administration. Trained to arms, with 
soldiering in his blood, he volunteered to raise a cavalry unit. In 
tune oT stress, throughout British-Indian history, the administration 
unhesitatingly called upon the Community wbkh. was, al>.« 
their loyal and selfless service was completed, as unhesitatingly 
discarded. Van Cortlandt’* offer was accepted with alacrity. 



74 


THE 5 TORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


His own reputation and the reputation of his father enabled him, 
within a comparatively short time, to raise the Harriana Light 
Horse. With this body of (roops as his nucleus Van Cortland t, 
who now enjoyed the rank of General, achieved a series of victories 
which ultimately ended in the complete pacification or the Punjab. 
With an auxiliary of Bikaner troops, he broke the mutineers at 
Hansi and went on from there to recapture Hissar. With his 
victories at Mungali and Jamalpore he subdued the whole or 
Punjab up to Rohtak which is only a few miles from Delhi. By 
his series of lightning and uninterrupted victories. General Van 
Cortlandt reclaimed the most vital and strategic districts, such as 
Sirsa, Hansi, Hissar and Rohtak. 

In addition, bis victorious forces cut oflf huge bodies of mutineers 
under Prince Muhammad Azecm and prevented them from swelling 
the already swollen tide of mutineers who had proceeded to Delhi 
to join the general fighting there. When the mutiny had been 
quelled, Van Cortlandt’s outstanding and vital services were 
recognised by the award of the Companionship of the Bath. He 
was also made the Commissioner of Multan. Van Cortlandt 
retired from service in 1868 and died in London on the 15th March, 
1888. 

Lucknow 

The Mutiny had broken out at Meerut on the 10th May, 1857. 
In Lucknow the fateful day was the 30th May. Sir Henry Lawrence 
w-as the Chief Commissioner and was invested with plenary powers 
and also given the rank of Brigadier-General. 

The only force Lawrence had with him consisted or 300 
British troops. To augment this totally inadequate number, he 
raised a corps of volunteers and constabulary. This corps was 
part Infantry and part Cavalry. It was recruited from among 
Europeans and the Anglo-Indian civil population. With these 
volunteers and a handful of troops Lawrence withstood and made 
history during the siege of Lucknow. He faced over 50,000 
mutinous troops. 

. ^HHning true to form the British historian has not cared to 
identify the names and the achievements or the Anglo-Indians. 
As usual these names and achievements have been included with 
i c ritis i. It has been possible, however, to rescue some of these 



ANGltMNUUXS AKD t1!E JlUTtST 75 

names for Anglo-Indian history. In his book, Stark has made a 
reference to a number of Anglo-Indians who fought with the 
daring and abandon of professional soldiers. Charles Crabbc was 
a mere lad who was specially mentioned for his bravery in facing 
shot and shell and performing his duty in an exposed position. In 
a sortie another Anglo-Indian by the name of Hyde rushed one of 
the enemy batteries killing three mutineers, shooting two and 
putting the third to the sword. Young Campagnac in spite of an 
injury to his leg was seen hobbling about, rifle in liand, where the 
fighting was the thickest. Incidentally, Campagnac’s grandson, 
Charles Campagnac, is, today, a colonel in the Indian Army 
and one of iu finest boxers. Other names mentioned by Stark 
for conspicuous gallantry wrre those of McGrennen and Hill. 
Sequeira, without hesitation, manned a post which was a verit- 
able death-trap. When the Commanding Officer asked the name 
of the NCO who had had the criminal stupidity to put Sequeira 
in such an exposed position, he refused to disclose the name of the 
NCO. Among other names rescued from oblivion were those of 
Ramsay and Apothecary Thompson. Ramsay was a telegraph 
assistant who was working day and night at his post till he was 
killed by a bullet. In his account of the Mutiny, Rees says of 
Thompson, “Next to God, Dr. Thompson had been the means of 
saving many lives.” The defence of the Residency and the siege 
of Lucknow are now landmarks in the annals of Indian history. 

Even in a historical record of outstanding courage and unusual 
gallantry one particular aspect of this grim period deserves to be 
specially mentioned. Seldom, if ever, hare schoolboys been called 
upon and answered the call to fight as men and soldiers! During the 
siege of Lucknow 14 boys of La Martinicre School, which is still 
one of the leading Anglo-Indian schools in the Country, were required 
to do duty as soldiers. The position allotted them was known as 
the Martiniere Post. They not only carried arms, but stood shoulder 
to shoulder with the professional soldiers and the civilian volunteers 
at every phase of defence and attack. The names of those 14 
Anglo-Indian lads deserve to be inscribed on a special scroll of 
bravery. They were — 

(1) Edward H. Hilton 

(2) David Arathoon 

(3) William Clark 



76 THE. STOKE 07 THE AXC10-I>!OTA.N COStS tUNtTT 

(4) John Homy 

(5) Danier Isaacson 

(6) James Luffman 

(7) James Lynch 

(8) David Macdonald 

(9) Lews Nicholls 

(10) Donald Macdonald 

(11) George Roberts 

(12) Joseph Sutton 

(13) John Walsh 

(14) Samuel Wrangle 

In the words of Skipton this was. "The only public school in the 
British Empire with a record of active military service.” 

Half the meagre forces with which Lawrence withstood the siege 
of Lucknow from May till September, when Lucknow was relieved 
by troops under Sir Colin Campbell and Sir James Outram, were 
civilians. Apart from the scorching heat and then the pouring 
rain, the garrison was reduced to starvation rations: suffering 
and disease took their increasing toll. The deaths sometimes 
rose to as many as 20 in one day. And in all this tragedy there 
was the inspiring example of courage^and endurance not only by 
civilians, but by boys. The women in the garrison, half of whom 
were Anglo-Indians, showed a stoicism and courage equalled only 
by their men. They cooked the meagre rations, they tended the 
sick, the wounded and the dying. They helped to forge a tradition 
for the Community, in war and in stress, which has been maintained 
by subsequent generations of Anglo-Indian women. 

Sir James Outram in his Divisional Order of the 15th October, 
1857, offered his, "Special congratulations and thanks to the 
European and Eurasian portion or the garrison.” 

R. Gubbins, Financial Commissioner for Oudh, and next in 
rank to Sir Henry Lawrence, in his "Account of the Mutinies in 
Oudh and of the Siege of the Lucknow Residency” writes, 
“Sufficient justice has, I think, scarcely been done to the clerks and 
un covenanted service. The admirable conduct displayed by this 
class, which contained such men as Kavanagh and Williams”,. . . - 
and again .... “All behaved well during the siege, and were 
often very conspicuous in repelling the fiercest attacks of the enemy. 
They deserved, I think, better at the hand of Government than 



ANGLO-INDIANS AND THE HITT! NT 77 

they received, or had at least received, when I left India.” 

‘‘The uncovenanted service, let me again say, distinguished itself 
very remarkably at Lucknow. Individuals belonging to it on 
several occasions volunteered and took part in sorties when the 
enemy’s guns were charged and spiked. And its members should 
have no cause to complain that their gallantry and good conduct 
have gone unrewarded." The Anglo-Indians were the uncove- 
nanted service. 

Cawnporc 

The (lames of the Mutiny spread to and ultimately enveloped 
Cawnporc on the 6th June. The tragic (ate of the Casvnpore 
garrison and their acceptance of the terms offered by Nana Sahib 
and the ultimate slaughter of men, women and children arc not 
for this book to relate. The total garrison of about a 1000 of 
which ultimately there were only 2 survivors, contained about 300 
Anglo-Indians. A reference to Cawnporc is, however, indicated 
because of the two outstanding attempts made by Anglo-Indians 
to carry messages to Allahabad in order to bring relief to 
the beleaguered and desperate Cawnporc garrison. Those two 
Anglo-Indians were Blenman and Shepherd. Disguised as a 
cook Blenman tried to get through the enemy lines. He eluded 
seven pickets, but was ultimately caught by the eight!). He saved 
himself by immediately inventing the story that he was a chamar 
(leather worker) and that the revolver he was carrying had been 
taken by him from a European. He ultimately returned to the 
beleaguered garrison. G.O. Trevelyan in his book on the Mutiny 
paid a tribute to his gallantry during the terrible privation and 
fighting. General Wheeler, the Commanding Officer, at last decid- 
ed to accept the terms of Nana Sahib for safe passage as further 
resistance was impossible. Blenman was among those who were 
killed by Nana Sahib’s troops at the Suttee Chowra Ghat. 

W.J. Shepherd was the other Anglo-Indian who volunteered to 
go through the enemy lines and seek relief for the beleaguered 
garrison. He was a clerk in the Commissariat Department at 
Lucknow. Barely recovered from a bullet wound, Shepherd 
volunteered to try and get through to Allahabad. He was 
disguised as a cook. Shepherd, however, did not go very far and 
was caught by Nana Sahib’s troops. He was tried and sentenced 



78 THE STOUT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNTCT 

to three years’ imprisonment. He was fortunate. With the re- 
capture of Cawnpore by General Havelock he was found alive 
and released. 

Bombay 

While the Mutiny had been scotched in the Punjab, the flames 
enveloped Delhi, Cawnpore, Lucknow and leaped their way to 
Central India. Bombay was a focus which, if overrun, would 
have extended the Mutiny through Western India and the Madras 
State. The spirit of disaffection was no less strong in Bombay 
than elsewhere. The British authorities and more especially the 
British officers of Indian regiments were lolling in a sense of false 
complacency. In spite of what had already taken place in other 
parts of the Country, British military officers refused to believe 
that their own set of men could ever be disloyal. They felt that 
any indication of suspicion on their part would create wanton 
resentment and perhaps disaffection among the men, where none 
existed. Fortunately for the British at this time the administration 
of the Bombay Police was in the hands of an Anglo-Indian, Charles 
Forjett. Forjett had started life in a humble capacity in the 
Survey of India Department. By dint of hard work and merit, he 
climbed the rungs till he became a Superintendent of Police and 
uncovcnanted Assistant Judge, then Deputy Commissioner of 
Police, Bombay, and finally Commissioner of Police and Sheriff 
of Bombay. In his book 'Our Real Danger in India’ Foijett 
has traversed the critical and momentous events in which he was 
a central figure. While deprecating unnecessary suspicion, Foijett 
was convinced that the events in other parts of the Country 
demanded the utmost precaution and vigilance. He approached 
Lord Elphinstone, the Governor of Bombay, and asked for and 
was given a free hand to take all measures that he considered 
necessary. The first thing Foijett did was to collect around him 
a strong and reliable nucleus of mounted Anglo-Indian and 
European Policemen. They were a handful consisting of 50 men. 
He refused to disperse these men through the city and maintained 
them as a hard core under his immediate command. There was 
an incident which, if not firmly handled by Foijett, might well 
have precipitated the mutiny of the troops in Bombay. 

A Christian soldier belonging to the 10th Regiment of Infantry 



ANGLO-INDIANS AND THE MUTINY 79 

had bumped into a procession carrying a Hindu deity. The 
■drunken soldier assaulted the members of the procession and 
knocked over the deity. The nearby policemen took the soldier 
into custody. When word reached the Regiment, a number of 
soldiers proceeded to the police lock-up, assaulted the policemen 
on duty and rescued their comrade. A European policeman 
with 4 men went to the military lines and insisted on the policemen, 
who had been seized by the soldiers, being released. The sepoys 
surrounded the policemen who had to fight their way out, killing 
3 of the soldiers and wounding others. On this the sepoys took 
to arms and were faced by 5 or 6 of their European officers with 
drawn swords. As soon as news reached Forjett, he rushed to the 
spot with his 50 mounted policemen. The British officers implored 
him to go away as they felt that his presence would only incite die 
troops to violence. Forjett’s mounted policemen were well-armed 
and refused to listen to the British officers. He ordered his men 
to open fire on which the sepoys thought better of the whole matter 
and the incident ended quietly. 

Forjett was now in the process of being convinced that the men 
were restless and had been infected with the fever of disaffection. 
He then arranged to keep a close watch on the sepoys. Not only 
did he send out hand-picked men, in disguise, to mingle with the 
sepoys when they visited the market, but Forjett himself in one 
disguise or another did the same. Being dark-skinned Fotjett 
had no difficulty in assuming various disguises. As a result he 
discovered that the house of one Ganga Prasad had become the 
rendezvous for the secret meetings of the sepoys. He got hold of 
Ganga Prasad and on pain of unspeakable penalties induced the 
latter to agree to admit him in disguise into one of those secret 
meetings. From an anteroom Forjett was able to overhear the 
conversation which left him in no doubt that the troops in Bombay 
were completely disaffected and were planning an uprising. The 
broad facts which emerged were that an uprising had been 
arranged for the last day of Muharram, a Muslim festival. It 
had, however, been postponed owing to the draconian measures 
taken by Foijett and was now fixed for a day during Diwali. 

Forjett knew that if he relayed his information to the British 
officers, they would immediately discount his information as being 
exaggerated or even baseless. He, therefore, arranged to take 



80 THE STOUT OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN' COSORTNTTT 

Major Barrow, the senior British Officer, along with him to one of 
the meetings. Barrow was dumbfounded when he heard for him- 
self the conversations : in spite of hts original scepticism, he lud 
to accept the evidence of his eyes and ears. As a result, the ring- 
leaders were duty court-martiallcd and sentenced. The "hole 
movement was nipped in the bud. 

Illustrative of the typical British neglect of the sendees of 
members of the Community, Forjcit received no official recognition 
for his outstanding work. Certain verbal encomia were, however, 
duly recorded not "tthout a certain seme of patronage. By a 
resolution dated the 19th June, 1858, die Govcmor-in-Council 
recorded, “That the expectations raised by the appointment of 
Mr. Forjett to the executive command of the Bombay Police have 
been amply realised." 

On the 23rd Mav, of the following year, the Secretary of the 
Judicial Department ssrote, “The Right Honourable the Governor- 
in-Council avails himself of this opportunity of expressing his sense 
of the very valuable services rendered by the Deputy Commissioner 
of Police, Mr. I'orjett, in the detection of die plot in Bombay in 
the autumn of 1857. His duties demanded great courage and 
acuteness, and great judgement, all of which qualities were 
conspicuously displayed by Me. Foqelt at this trying period.” 

Praise from an even higher source duly arrived. Sir Char I css 
Wood, Secretary of State for India, conveyed to him, "The gracious 
approbation of Her Majesty the Queen or your conduct during 
the critical period of the Mutiny and the disturbances in India." 

The Indian and European communities in Bombay presented 
Fotjett v ith an address and, with the approval of the Government, 
gave him a purse of 3850 pounds in token of their gratitude for his 
"zealous energy" and the successful application of his "almost 
despotic powers”. Torjett died in London on 27th January, 
1890. He continued to be resentful of the niggardly treatment 
he had received from the British administration and salved his 
injured feelings by recording his experience in his book entitled, 
‘Our Real Danger in India* where his services have been 
chronicled. 

In recognition of his services Toijett was granted an extra pension 
and his son, F.II. Forjett, granted a commission in the Army. 
Forjett’s son saw service mostly with the 2Gth Bombay Native 



ANGLO-INDIANS AND THE MUTINY 


81 


Infantry | which in the 'seventies’ and ‘eighties’ was popularly 
known as the 'Black Watch’, since three of the senior ofliern were 
Anglo-Indians : they were the Commanding Officer John Miles, 
who is said to have had a dominating personality, John Heath 
and F.H. Torjett. The family name was said originally to have 
been Forget, suggesting French descent. 

Calcutta 

That the flames of the Mutiny did not erupt in Calcutta was 
due to the grizzled Anglo-Indian soldier General Sir John Bennett 
Heaney, who was the military commander of the district, which 
included Calcutta the then Capital or India. The mounting 
spate of news from all directions of uprisings and the massacre of 
Europeans, both military and civilian, kept Calcutta on the edge 
of nervous expectation. Sunday, the 14th June, 1857, has been 
described as “panic” Sunday. The growing snowball of rumour 
given momentum by a certain amount of panicky, wishful thinking 
gave birth to the story that the disbanded sepoys were on their 
way from Barrackporc to slaughter the Europeans of Calcutta. 
Trotter tells of the almost wild stampede led by high European 
officials, both civil and military, to Fort William or to ships on the 
river. Fortunately nothing happened on “panic” Sunday. It 
was confirmed later, however, that there t«ss ample basis for the 
alarm. The Maharaja of Gwalior was to entertain European 
guests to a dispray of fire-works on “panic” Sunday. It was 
arranged that the fire-works would be the signal for an uprising at 
Fort William, Calcutta, of the sepoys who, after killing their 
officers, would join the sepoys from Barrack pore. Thereafter, they 
Would proceed to the palace of the deposed King of Oudh at Garden 
Reach and fink up with his force of about 1,000 armed retainers. 
The final part of the plan was that these ex-soldiers would lead a 
mass of the Muslim population in Calcutta to wipe out the European 
population. The plan failed because or a downpour of rain which 
prevented the fire-works. The uprising was, therefore, postponed 
to the 23rd June, which was considered to be trebly propitious. It 
was the centenary of the Battle of Plassey; it was also the occasion 
or the Hindu festival of Rathjatra and of the Muslim festival of 
Bohr Id. The plan was forestalled by General Heaney disarming 
and disbanding the sepoys at Barrackpore. The guards posted to 



82 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


different parts of Calcutta although not removed from their posts 
were disarmed. Hearsey was a tough, battle-hardened, fighting 
general and one of the most trusted advisers of Lord Canning, 
the then Viceroy. He belonged to the well-known Anglo-Indian 
family of Hearseys. 


Volunteer Corps 

In these conditions of anxiety, nervous tension and fearful 
cxpectahon the Government decided to create the Bengal Yeomanry 
Cavalry It was a volunteer corps. For this corps a large number 
of Anglo-Indians volunteered. In October, 1857, the Yeomanry 

Cavalry proceeded from Howrah to Raniganj by train. From there 

they marehed via Gaya and Patna across the Ganges into Tirhut. 
They moved through Dharbhanga and other places towards the 
Nepal Terrai. 

Early 1S50 they marched into the Gorakhpur district and 
tdtmtntely armed at Atatora. They rough! a series of actions and 
at Gonda, in conjunction with certain other units, touted the forces 
or the Rajah of Gonda. The main body of the enemy, however, 
t as yet to be dealt with and the opposing forces met on the outskirts 
of Bulwaghat. Nash describes the battle as follows, "One hundred 
and twen£two sabres with the Colour, at their head prcparrd to 
charge. The word, 'March, Trot, Gallop', i„ „ pid succession, 
have scarcely pawed the lip, of the leader, when on dash the 
keotnanry Lkc greyhound, slipped from the leash. They, weep 
,h , ’ ‘ hCy Plu ” s ' m "> intercepting ravines half full of 

water that rnotnentartly check their rare into the jaw, of dead,; 
fey tear through the stream in the teed, of a shower of grape from 
the enemy , one and only 18 ponder. Still on goes theTqmdron, 

onward ‘" d ' “ b " W to Lee the 

onward wave s.,11 roar, as „ 'Now for ^ ^ for ^ 

fLdre Imt L a f " >m PPing muzzle vomit, 

^ d ““*' grape into our faces: 



• ANGLO-INDIANS AND THE MCTXNT 


03 


sepoys on every side as if out of the very ground itself. They have 
been crouching like tigers prepared to spring from behind the 
village, and from behind die thin line of their front rank by which 
we had been decoyed. It was now too late to check the headlong 
rush: and, had it been attempted, in the confusion that would 
doubtless have followed, the destruction of the whole squadron 
would probabty have been the result. No sooner, therefore, were 
these numerous assailants disclosed, than the next moment a stream 
of musketry, like a sheet of fire, met us with terrible effect and 
literally cut down a section of the squadron, and encumbered the 
spot where this withering volley was received with men and horses 
straggling >n dying agony.” 

"But nothing could daunt the remnant of that devoted band. 
They plunged in among the enemy with an ardour that could not 
be resisted. In an area of Heaven knows how few square yards, 
the kilted and the wounded lay crowded together as they had 
fallen. Some of the latter, with their garments on fire, were unable 
to move; others fell and died without a groan; others, weltering in 
their blood, or bleeding to death, dragged themselves up into a 
silting posture, and, with revolver in hand, watched the doubtful 
fight; and others again, having escaped severe injury and having 
lost their horses, were standing over their helpless comrades and 
shooting down the scattered sepoys as they approached within 
revolver range of that gory spot.” 

"‘While all this was going on, the undaunted remnant — roused 
to almost superhuman efforts — having ridden into and over the 
mutineers, drew their revolvers, and an unrelenting and indiscrimi- 
nate carnage ensued. And now the left squadron, noticing their 
comrades hard pressed, also raced into the melee; and then the 
clank of steel, the rattling of musketry, and the yell of the mutineers." 

In the cold weather of 1858-59 the Yeomanry Cavalry were 
employed in operations in the Baraich District of Oudh. Here by 
their fighting qualities they gained the dreaded name of the 
‘Shaitan Paltan’, that is, the Devil’s Regiment. Finally they 
operated against the sepoys on the Nepal frontier. They had been 
commanded by Major Richardson of the 81st Irregulars; Captain 
F.C. Chapman was the Second-in -Command. The Cavalry 
consisted of 4 Troops, one of which was commanded by Lieutenant 
deHoxar, member of a well-known Anglo-Indian family from 



84 THE STORY OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Northern India. The corps was disbanded at Patna in 1859. 
Before breaking up the men were addressed by the Viceroy as 
follows, “I cannot allow the Officers and Men of the Bengal 
» eomanry Cavalry to disperse without expressing in general orders 
this acknowledgement or the excellent services they have rendered. 
The gazette of the 23rd March, 27th April, lhh May, 6 th and 
3th July, 13th August, 12th and 19th October, 23rd November, 
1858 and the 11th and 18th January, 1859, all testify that the 
Benga Yeomanry Cavalry have borne a distinguished part in the 
several operations therein recounted. Long marches, exposure, 
fatigue, and harassmg patrol and picket duties have from the first 
fallen to the lot of this young Corps, and they have borne the whole 
m true soldier-like spirit. The Governor-General-in-Counci! 

nveys his best thanks for the good service they have rendered 
imtln* S n’ and m d,sband,n E ‘he Corps, which from the 27th 
msnmt will cease to belong to the British Army, he wishes its 
members a hearty farewell. 1 ’ 

r S"’„ C , h .? reh ' Calcul "' tb « following tablet Wat to be 
GUR ALMORAH ' “KRAMJOTE, NUKUG- 

BORSAItLt ™; .WOMOM. DOOMAREAGUNJ, 
TOO^S'PORE, A.D. 1857-1858. Erected by 
If l£f Tv No "- Co ™ u ””"«> Officer, and Men of the Regiment 
fellffi fc nT C ™ h * " ra ""°^ of their Comrade' who 

° r <li ' d » f ">* «™»d* "T di.eate , 

COROVFTs'i :‘‘7T D; f-fEGTENANT S. STROVER; 
c s gaynor' aw »“Rshall, H.P. TROUr, 
W H B^NNft C H ' ^VAGE. WA. CURRAN, 

T TAYLOR oo'^, I io I ' tAMS:TROOPERS ’ G -' VESTERLV ’ 

J DROWN ’r X \tI^ R ^ ER ' H ffANDOLPH, F. MILTON, 
JD ALLINGHAM A /'„^, R,CHARDSON . g - ANDERSON, 
W. GRIFFITHS \ E -mn\tr7 RALD ' ERROL > T. BURKE, 

Anglo-Indian V.Cs. 

lndi.nT,TTl™™^ n TjT, idcnrifiablc Anglo- 
Commissioner’t office at L« Wv' * thc D 'P n, >' 

to far, the only civilian , Eavanagh was the f.rtt and, 

y civil, an India „„ , * c „ atri 



ANGLO-INDIANS AND THE JtUTINT 


85 


the V.C. On the military side the first Anglo-Indian to win the 
V.C. was Andrew Fitzgibbon. In fact Fitagibbon was the youngest 
person ever to have been awarded the Victoria Cross. The next 
identifiable Anglo-Indian V.CL was Robert MacMtllan, an orphan 
Anglo-Indian boy from Madras, \vho won this coveted distinction 
while serving with the Sherwood Foresters in the Ashanti War 
of 1873. 

Belated Recognition 

The Queen’s proclamation of 1st November, 1858, marked the 
official end of the Mutiny. Much of the exploits, daring and 
unwavering courage of the Community during a period which 
broke the spirits and the minds of many men and women have 
not been salvaged for history. Much of this achievement has 
been lost under the general designation ‘British’. Much of it has 
also been lost to historical record for want of chroniclers. What 
has been salvaged stands out as a shining monument to the courage 
and devotion to duty of the Anglo-Indian Community. The 
knowledge of their deeds is made all the more splendid by the fact 
that for the greater part of a century before the Mutiny they had 
been subjected to bitter economic and social disabilities and even 
to deliberately cruel discrimination. Yet, when the occasion arose, 
they formed civilian regiments and served shoulder to shoulder 
with the most seasoned and battle-inoculated soldiers, both British 
and Indian. Their dogged endurance, their capacity to march 
and fight in the deadly heat of an Indian summer, or during the 
torrendal rains, at last evoked a belated recognition of their quali- 
ties. The Volunteer Corps of Patna, the Lahore Light Hone, 
the Uncovenanted Men of the Lucknow Volunteer Cavalry, had 
written in deeds of reckless heroism a valourous and stirring history. 
The Lucknow Volunteer Cavalry had met and repelled the repeated 
onslaughts of over 50,000 mutineers. The First Madras Fusiliers, 
Pearson’s Battery, the Mounted Volunteers of Agra, the Yeomanry 
of Meerut, the Cavalry Regiment of Calcutta, all of which units 
contained a large proportion of Anglo-Indians, had made a notable 
contribution to the final result of this dark and uncertain period of 
history. 

As part of the recognition of the fighting qualities exhibited 
by the Community, it was announced that the Government had 



THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


decided to raise a regiment of Anglo-Indians, from all parts of the 
Country, for service in Bengal. Lord Canning was among the 
first and the most enthusiastic in his appreciation of the courageous 
services of the Community. 

The Metropolitan See was occupied, at that time, by one of the 
greatest prelates who have ever adorned this high office. In his 
thanksgiving address at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Bishop Cotton pleaded 
on the 28th July, I860, for the setting up of a number of well- 
equipped schools for the Community. In his minute of October, 
the Viceroy pleaded in ardent terms for fairplay to the Anglo- 
Indians : “If cared for betimes, it will become a source of strength 
to British rule and of usefulness to India. The Eurasian class 
have a special claim upon us. The presence of a British Govern- 
ment has called them into being. They serve the Government in 
many respects more efficiently than the native can serve it, and 
more cheaply and more conveniently than the European can.” 

Lord Canning’s scheme for the advancement of the Community 
was largely still-born because his term of office expired in 1862. 
Bishop Cotton also died in 1866. After Canning, there were no 
less than four Viceroys during the next twelve or fourteen years. 
It was only on the 13 th August, 1881, that Lord Lytton, recalling 
the intentions and promise of Lord Canning, issued his minute 
on which the Government of India decided on the 15 th October, 
1881, to make European education (which included the Anglo- 
Indians) a Department of Public Instruction. I deal with this 
aspect more fully in the chapter entitled, ‘In the Educational 
Vanguard’. 



CHAPTER VI 


THE GIDNEYAN ERA 


Betrayal Again 

L T.COL. SIR HENRY GIDNEY represented an epoch of over 
20 years in the life and history of the Community. A re- 
ference to Gidney’s service to the Community involves, inevitably, 
a reference to the position and achievement* of the Anglo-Indian* 
from 1920 to 1942. 

Henry Albert John Gidney was bom on the 9th June, 1873, at 
Igatpuri. Igatpuri i* situated in the Western Ghats about 80 
miles east of Bombay. A comparatively small place, Igatpuri, 
however, represented an important railway centre, where an 
appreciable number of Anglo-Indians employed on the railways 
lived and worked. 

Gidney was brought up in the Methodist Episcopal faith. From 
the Methodist School in Igatpuri, Gidney was transferred to the 
Baldwin Boys’ High School, Bangalore, a well-known Anglo-Indian 
School. Gidney finished his schooling at St. Peter’s High School, 
Mazagaon, from where he matriculated at an unusually early age. 
Gidney was an all-round sportsman, being good at billiards, boxing 
and tenni*. In later life, he was a keen and successful big game 
shikari. 

Gidney was unusually ambidextrous. To this congenital 
quality he ascribed much of his prodigious if not phenomenal 
memory. Passing out from school, Gidney joined the Indian 
Medical Department (British Cadre) which was reserved for 
members of the Anglo-Indian Community. He was trained at the 
Calcutta Medical College, where the I.M.D. students pursued 
their studies along with medical students of all communities. 
Gidney was barely 16 years of age when he joined the Medical 
College in 1890. During the 4-year course in college, his academic 
record was spectacular. In the first year examination he stood 
&xt: in tie second year examination fie again stood first. IVSife 



THE STORT OF THE ANCIO*tNDlAH COilMVNTTT 


doing his medical studies, Gidney sought to improve himself 
academically : he took the Intermediate Arts examination from the 
Allahabad University. In the third year medical examination, 
Gidney not only retained his first place but secured 3 gold medals. 
He climaxed his stay in the Medical College by passing out first, 
beating on the way every other student including the best civil 
medical students from all the other Indian communities. This 
time he won 5 gold medals and 6 other honour certificates for every 
senior subject. 

The Indian Medical Department (British Cadre) was a sub- 
ordinate service open only to Anglo-Indians. It was attached 
to the British Army in India, and hence the tag — British Cadre. 
Gidney was fired by an irresistible ambition to enter the senior 
service — the Indian Medical Service. After only 2 years as an 
Assistant Civil Surgeon, he was able to get 6 months furlough to 
proceed to England, an unheard of concession in those dap. 
Within 6 weeks of his arrival in London, Gidney appeared for his 
London Entrance Examination. This was also a record. Being 
short of money, he appeared for certain competitive inter-hospital 
examinations and annexed 3 out of 5 scholarships. After 6 months 
he decided to appear for the I.M.S. competitive examination. 
Here also he raced against time. He joined a famous coaching 
school which had completed more than half the normal term. He, 
however, appeared in the competitive examination and was success- 
ful. 

Gidney returned to India as an officer in the Indian Medical 
Service. In 1901 he saw active service in China in the Boxer 
rebellion. He was mentioned in despatches during this campaign. 
In 1902 Gidney went to England on medical furlough where he 
remained for 2 yean. During this period he obtained the F.R.GS. 
(Edinburgh) and the D.P.H. (Cantab). Towards the end of 
1906 Gidney was serving in the new Province of Eastern Bengal 
and Assam as a Civil Surgeon. It was during the years 1906 to 
1910 that he acquired increasing experience as an ophthalmic 
surgeon. He spent most of his spare time in big game shooting. 
In 1910 after being given the rank or Brev et Major, he went on a 
year s furlough to England. This leave was extended by 9 months. 
Durmg this period he passed the L.R.C.P., M.R.C.P. (E) and the 
U.O. (Oxon) examinations. In 1911 he was elected Fellow of the 



89 


Tiff. CtDSETAN Jt*A 

Royal Society (England). lit va. Htcymungest man at that timt 
to bo given thi, high honour, lie did line research «* J" 
Ophthalmology at Oaford and leas appointed post-graduate leeluree 
in Ophthalmology at Oaford : he held that appointment Toe about 
1 8 months. Gidney also officiated on the naif of the eye hospitals 
or Oxford and London. .. , 

Throughout hi, carter in the I.M.S. Gidney came up, repeated! . 
against race and colour discrimination. Whm he returned t 
India, in 1911, he was appointed Civil Surgeon of Kohima m the 
Kan Hills. Gidney bitterly resented this appointment, as it was 
a deliberate act of professional ostracism, despite his outstandmg 
qualifications which entitled him to a far more important assign- 
ment. The reasons for his relegation were a serious allercat on 
with the Governor and the rancour of a European member or the 
I.M.S. who had become Inspcctor-Gcncral of C* v » l »J«P ,,a! j’ 
This senior ofTicial could not forget that Gidney had UW 
practice in the Dacca district, not deliberately but merely because 
or Gidney’s demonstrably superior professional ability. Chafes 
his defects, Gidney did not lack in spirit and physical courag 
accompanied an expedition against the Naga hea * 

Assam. He was appointed Senior Medical Officer ° . I 

On one occasion when the camp of wounded soldiers was attacked 
by the Nagas, Gidney’s presence of mind saved the situation. He 
collected a handful of soldiers and beat ofT the Naga attack, 
this occasion he showed outstanding personal gallantry in r ” cu 
a porter who, however, ultimately died of his wounds. In this 
expedition Gidney was mentioned in despatches three tim «- 
was understandably resentful of the fact that his lea mg par i 
defence of the stockade was singled out for non-recogn.Uon. AU 
those who had served under him to beat ofT t i e a ac 
promoted and given decorations. Gidney alone ai e o g 
specific recognition. This drew from him the bitter commen 
that had a European officer done half as well, e wo 
got the V.C. or sit least she D.S.O. The discritnmaloty sresstmcM 
meted out to Gidttcy rankled and precipitated the decision to resign 
from the service at the earliest possible opportunity. Jaesawee - 
ing Governor of Assam, however, had been so impresse y 1 ^ 

work that he was transferred from the smallest to t e 
district-Sylhet. There he soon built up a large private practice. 



90 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


It was while at Sylhet that Gidney submitted his resignation: he 
actually secured an appointment in the London Eye Hospital. 

The Great War, however, intervened. Gidney was posted to 
Peshawar in September 1914. He saw active service in the North- 
West Frontier and was Medical Officer to the Rajputs when they 
suffered heavy casualties on the 19th April, 1915, in their attack 
on the Shabkadar Fort. Gidney was wounded and given three 
months' medical furlough. In 1916 Gidney was posted to the 6th 
Division at Mhow. He was given a triple appointment, namely, 
Surgical Specialist, Ophthalmic Specialist and Specialist in Public 
Health. Even for the I.M.S., to serve as a specialist in three 
subjects was a record. In 1917 lie was posted as a Senior Surgeon 
of a large War hospital and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant- 
Colonel. At the end of the War, Gidney was invalided from the 
service. 


Gidne/ s Love Life 

In 190f Gidney married Grace Wignall the daughter of a 
Yorkshireman who had settled in Agra. There were no children 
oT the marriage which was not a success. After a few years Mrs. 
Gidney settled in the U.K. Till she died in 1937 Gidney supported 
her. In public life, anyone who amounts to anything has detractors. 
Gidney certainly had his fill. His rather flamboyant manner 
orten gave his vilifiers a stick with which to beat him. A connoisseur 
art collector, Gidney had a connoisseur’s eye for beautiful women. 
A polished performer on the dance floor, this added to his reputa- 
tion as a lady-killer. Even towards the end or his career, when he 
was an i man, Gidney would hold the floor and put to shame 
much younger exponents of the waltz and the tango. 

As leader of the Community and with the increasing eminence 
e ac levc ^ as the unchallenged representative of Anglo-India, 
Gidney inevitably had his temptations. As he went from centre 
-° ( C ^ n meet ' n S ’t ,e most beautiful and accomplished women 
m the Community, many of them were attracted to him not only 
for lus eminence but for his innate charm and polish. 

cn wit strong passions subject to strong temptations often 
ommi great au ts. The passionateness which impels to achieve- 
ment by overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles not 
seldom leads to romantic episodes. Much that was said or written 



9! 


Tire ClD're' rAN ERA 


about Gidney » often deliberately and 

Gidney undoubtedly had the eapactty to tnrptre “ “ 

some women. Dunn, hi. public career three women rhared 

work and his burdens. . . t _L. : n t hc 

A sparkling raconteur Gidney could no. only fine but tak » 
held of,. it and sarcasm. To the delight of many of Im taemtn 
he recounted a series of his alleged romanrtc eseapadra. Thu 
supplied further ammunition to hts eser-ready Slid™. 

Gidney was sen-cd for many year, by one VJ_ Anars S.amng 
a, anitun. in she olftee. A, Tar became the Pooh-Bah rf dm ltad 
OBiee of the All-India Anglo-Indian A»oo»Uon- Ayy» was 
Gidney-, private secretary, stenognspher and , tn to, the eh,« 
esrceudvc in the olTtee. Gidney always had 
bow Ayyar as the architect of some of the mm. eject tn . • 
tations and memoranda produced during ‘' 1 ' , d 
light for the Community. With much reltsh Ctdncy mid «onr 
of an irate old Anglo-Indian lady, w o This 

indoctrinated with considerable antt-Gidney p P _ ( r 

old lady accosted Gidney and mid he ought o be ashamed I n 
himself as he did nor hesitate even to go on tour ^ 

(maid servant). Gidney’. irrepressible setue of ™ 

him bow to .he lady: he added to her ^^1 Avnar a very 
introduce her to his 'Ayah'. He ' 'hen ca ° in dignant 

masculine person, and introduced him S under her 

old lady: dumbfounded, she left muttering something under 

breath. 


Enters Public Life 

After retiring from the I-M-S. Gidney set up pma.c 
in Bombay. He opened a large pnvate £ hospu a^ 

achieved immediate succcw. ^ go 000 nLk. This was 

Rs. 10,000 a month and reached the Rs. ^U.wu 

in 1918. ...3, joon drawn into 

In spite of his lucrative practice Gid ey Corooration. 

public life. He had his first taste m ,h ' Bo ?^ y b i „ r the 
In 1918 he was elected President of -he totay 1™* ^ 
Anglo-Indian Empire League, an orgarusation 
founded in 1908 by Charles Palmer. Ine.de, s^ly, ™”'^ d ed 
.member of the weit-known Hyderabad fiuntly wbteh had foonUrU 



92 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMA [UNITY 


the Palmer Bank in Calcutta and at one time made a loan of 10 
million rupees to the Nizam of Hyderabad. In 1919 GIdney was 
elected Vice-President of the Central Council of the Empire League. 
At the end of the same year, in a rather bitter election he beat by 
one vote J.H Abbott, who had been the President or the League for 
many years. Abbott represented the Community in the then 
Imperial Legislative Council. From then on Gidney devoted himself 
increasingly to the leadership and organisation of the Community. 

Jf re werc at least 5 organisations representing Anglo-Indians in 
different parts of the Country including Gidney’s League. On the 9th 
April, 1926, there was a conference between representatives of these 
organisations from Bombay, Bengal, Madras, Allahabad and Burma, 
rhe object was to seek amalgamation. Madras and Allahabad 
preferred to plough their own, dissident furrows. Bengal and Burma 
eane towards amalgamation and unity. Gidney then became 
President of the Bengal Organisation. Into this he fused his own 
organisation. The Anglo-Indian and Domiciled European Asso- 
ciation All-India and Burma, was registered in 1926. In 1929 
Allahabad also came under Gidney’s banner. By his energy, 
rgamsing ability and relatively outstanding capacity Gidney 
ultimately wrested the crown of Anglo-India and became its 
accredited leader. 

This was not to say that Gidney did not face opposition. He 
bitterly comment^ not only on the base criticism but the evil 
V° W v Ch He " as ° f,cn «posed. In Bengal the opposi- 
H A c? by tW ° P rominent Anglo-Indians. One was 

rHnrat - 1 W °. ac *"cved not inconsiderable distinction as an 
Commiin’n/ " rro,c commendable histories of the 

for AIM X C 5. Urk had none of thc flair nor ‘he capacity 
inrnnslft " h r* mJli P which Gidney possessed, he had a not 
mconnderable following in Calcutta. Spare in stature, Stark 

‘srandeeism^tl,*^’. 1 " st,nc,lvc, ) r seemed to resent the 
an onnortun’tv % StI ? n{5 . y characterised Gidney. Stark never lost 



TltE GIDNTTAN £AA 


93 


In The Legislature 

With the introduction of the Montague-Chclmsford Reforms 
the Central Legislative Assembly came into being. The Com- 
munity had been granted one reserved seat to be filled by nomi- 
nation. Gidney’s growing stature in the Community resulted 
inevitably in a contest with J.H. Abbott. The two men acted 
typically. Abbott was preoccupied getting signatures. The 
dynamic Gidncy scorned such pedestrian methods. He toured 
the Country not once but twice in a short space of four months. 
The Community was scattered through the length and breadth 
of the Country and located not only in the main cities but in 
colonies in almost every railway centre in the Country. 

Gidney’s almost aggressive character led him to beard Abbott 
in his home town of Jhansi. He challenged Abbott to appear on 
a common platform. Gidney’s incomparably greater capacity 
and polish brought him overwhelming victory over Abbott even 
in Jhansi. As a result of the decisive support of the Community 
throughout the Country', Gidncy was nominated by the Viceroy 
to the Legislative Assembly and took his seat in the House in 
September, 1921. , 

Gidney had no real political background or training. As a 
medical man, he did not have the background attributes which 
often contribute to success in the political field. Gidncy, however, 
represented a striking and, indeed, a refreshing departure from his 
predecessor. Abbott had been, more or less, a silent hanger-on 
of the European Group and of European policies. Gidncy had to 
feel his way. The House consisted of two main elements that could 
be broadly designated as radical and liberal. At that time the 
attitude towards the Anglo-Indians even of the liberals was not 
only unfriendly but even hostile. Gidney joined the European 
Group, perhaps with the intention of not making a too sudden 
break with the past conventions. Gidney was never, however, 
happy with the European Group. He resented their patronising 
attitude. In spite of his rapidly increasing influence in the House, 
they were not prepared to accept him even in the position ofa 
Deputy Leader of the Group. With his aggressively independent 
spirit and his capacity to more than hold his own, both intellec- 
tually and socially, Gidney represented a type of Anglo-Indian 
whom the European Group often resented. As a nominated 



94 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COXfMUNITY 


member, Gidney could not vote frontally against the Government. 
Usually nominated members are not supposed to criticise, much 
less speak against, the Government. 

From the beginning, however, Gidney did not hesitate to express 
his disapproval of Government policies whenever he felt that 
criticism was necessary. Gidney had the disability of an un- 
resonant, even thin voice. But with experience and practice, he 
became a facile and often, when inspired by emotion, a moving 
speaker. His speeches did not have any special literary or scholarly 
quality. Gidney was not able to enter the lists in matters which 
required a legal background. Yet, he was one of the most active 
and vocal members. In time he came to be regarded as an 
authority particularly on railway and army matters. 

Gidney had considerable social charm. He was considered 
perhaps the ace raconteur not only of the Legislature but of Delhi 
society. He had a fund of inexhaustible stories. There was a 
characteristic tang in Gidney’s story-telling. On more than one 
occasion when about to regale the House with one of his tit-bits, 
he would be warned by the President to reserve those of a risque 
character for the lobby. Gidney’s ready wit often extricated him 
from a difficult position in the House when under attack by some 
outstanding debater or speaker. He also had a not negligible 
ability for punning, which he used to the discomfiture of an 
interrupter or a malicious opponent. 

Both Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Gidney had a rather theatrical 
manner. They were both persons with a considerable self-conceit. 
Both were impeccable dressers. Both sported monocles. Their 
similarities, however, seemed more to repel than to attract. On 
one occasion when Gidney got up to speak immediately after 
Jinnah, referring to Jinnah he said, “The Hon’ble Member who 
has just sat down has not only got the bull by the horns but the 
cow y the udder end.” The House greeted Gidney’s pun with 
uproarious applause. 

Anglo-Indians In The Services 

Anglo-Indians \in the services owed a great deal to Gidney’s 
tenacious, unremitting championship. Inevitably, a large part of 
S D attemi0n r aS devoted to »he position of Anglo-Indians 
in me Railways. ^Sometimes the criticism was made that the 



THE GIDNEY AN ERA 


95 


Association was virtually a railway trade union. In fact, this 
criticism was not fair. A preponderant section of the Community 
had for decades found a place in the Indian Railways. Past 
British policy of deliberate discrimination and the steady economic 
emasculation of the Community combined to make the Community 
almost pathetically dependent on Government service. While 
throwing a few crumbs to the Community by giving it an almost 
special niche, in a subordinate capacity, British Imperialism served 
first its own interests by filling strategic positions in the key services 
with Anglo-Indians on whom they could rely in times of crisis. 

From the beginning Gidncy took a leading part in the discussions 
in the Legislative Assembly on the Railway administration. Both 
in the House and outside he underlined the difficulties of the 
Community in the Railways. One of Gidney’s most difficult tasks 
was to maintain the recruitment strength of the Community in the 
Railways. When Gidney entered the Assembly there were 
approximately 11,000 Anglo-Indians employed on the Railways. 
In ten years the number increased to about 14,000. Shortly before 
be died in 1942 there were signs of deterioration and the number 
of Anglo-Indians had declined to about 12,000. Shortly after his 
debut in the Assembly Gidney was confronted with a definite anti- 
Anglo-Indian psychology. The reasons were complex. Some of 
the causes were certainly not of the Community’s making. The 
Community itself was uncertain of its polin'eal and even legal 
position. For purposes of employment Anglo-Indians were 
referred to as statutory natives of India, for purposes of defence, 
and more especially for enrolment in the Indian Defence Force 
later known as the Auxiliary Force, they were classified as 
European British subjects. Yet they were completely barred from 
recruitment to the British Army. Anglo-Indians thus found them- 
selves virtually in a politico-legal vacuum. Gidney had to resist 
deliberate attempts to squeeze the Community out of the services 
on the plea of Indianisation which was interpreted as implying 
de-Anglo-Indianisation. Gidney fought an unremitting and 
largely successful fight against that misguided policy. The British 
authorities were not only lukewarm but, often from a misguided 
sense of offering a sop to clamorous ‘Indian’ political opinion, 
they were prepared to sacrifice the Community at the altar of 
expediency. 



96 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Gidney’s career and his leadership of the Community were 
marked by a theme which ran through them like a Greek chorus. 
This was his consistent fight against race and colour discrimination. 
One of Gidney’s major assignments was his appointment, in 1929, 
as a Member of the Royal Labour Commission more popularly 
known as the Whitley Commission. Gidney’s memorandum to 
the Commission and his questions were directed to exposing the 
discrimination practised as between European and non-European 
employees. By cross-examining members of the Railway Board 
and General Managers he exposed the fact that while an Anglo- 
Indian Ticket Collector received Rs. 33/- a month, from which he 
had to pay from Rs. 10/- to Rs. 12/- on account of house rent and 
electricity, leaving him Rs. 20/- to support himseir and his family, 
an uneducated and often completely illiterate British soldier was 
recruited as a Guard on an initial salary of Rs. 125/- a month. 

As a member of this Commission Gidney drew attention to what 
appeared to be chronic grievances on the Railways, such as, the 
over-working of the loco and traffic employees for prriods ranging 
from 10 to 20 hours at a stretch. He also strongly criticised the 
summary and high-handed manner in which the higher authorities 
disposed of appeals. 

Gidney also took up the cudgels on behalf of members of the 
Community employed in the Posts and Telegraph Department. 
In this he was handicapped by the consistent non-cooperation and 
often open opposition of the Indian Telegraph Association. This 
Association was founded in 1908 by Harry Barton. Barton was 
a poor lad who had been educated at the Lawrence Military School 
in Lovedale in South India. In many ways. Barton can be 
regarded as the Father of Indian Trade Unionism. He was a 
fearless and determined fighter and did not flinch from arrest or im- 
prisonment. Without either the education or the polish that Gidney 
possessed, Barton was nevertheless an able organiser and a doughty 
fighter. Unfortunately, he was one of Gidney's consistent oppo- 
nents and together with Stark formed the spearhead of the opposi- 
tion to Gidney in Calcutta. When Gidney had served on the 
Rangachari Committee in 1923 the Indian Telegraph Association 
was led by Barton. Unfortunately when Gidney moved in the 
Assembly, in 1929, for the appointment of a committee to investi- 
gate the grievances of the telegraph workers, the Indian Telegraph 



Tire G1DKETAM ERA 


9? 


Association took tip a hostile attitude. Wien Anglo-Indians 
were faced with fierce, brutal retrenchment recommended by the 
Varma Committee, Gidney, who was in London in 1931, represen- 
ted the matter immediately to the Secretary of State. There is no 
doubt that Gidney’s intervention served largely to blunt the vicious- 
new or the Varma Committee’s assault on the Anglo-Indians in 
the Telegraph Department. 

The Indian Medical Department (British cadre) owed a very 
special debt of gratitude to Gidney. The department, which was 
attached to the British Army in India, consisted entirely of members 
of the Community. It gave to the medical service, attached to the 
British forces, their Assistant Surgeons with Warrant OfTiccr rank, 
and in the senior ranks of the service a certain number of officers. 
Gidney had originally entered this department, forging on the 
way brilliant and perhaps unequalled records of academic and 
medical distinction. Gidney, however, never lost his attachment 
for the I.M.D. His dogged representation of their service condi- 
tions led, in his life-time, to a vast and almost unrecognisable 
improvement. The I.M.D. (B.C.) scales of pay were doubled and 
so also were the pension rates. The Royal College of Surgeons in 
Britain was opened to members of the I.M.D. (British cadre). 

The 1925 London Deputation 

Gidney’s restless energy chafed increasingly at the unsatisfactory 
political and legal position of the Community’. A reference has 
already been made to their trinity of status, namely, Natives of 
India for the purpose of employment, European British subjects 
for certain defence purposes, and non-Europeans vis-a-vis the 
British Army. Gidney’ felt that the time had come for a deputation 
to the British Government, backed by the whole strength of the 
Community. It will be recalled that John Ricketts carried a 
well-known petition, in 1830, which was placed before the British 
Parliament. In spite of the rather formal and cool reception 
which Ricketts’ petition received it did help to attract the attention 
of the British Parliament to the then unsatisfactory position of the 
Community. After that there would appear to have been other 
representations, or evert deputations, hut they were not publicised t 
apparently they were not only unsung but virtually still-born. A 
deputation seems to have gone to England in 1897.. Nothing is 



98 THE STORY Of THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

known as to the character or composition of that deputation or 
what it sought to achieve. 

In November, 1923, Herbert Stark waited on Peel, the then 
Secretary of State. This would appear to have been a very single- 
handed effort of which little, if any, notice was taken. Gidney, 
however, with his flair for organisation, orchestrated his move 
with plenty of publicity- At that time, unfortunately, there was 
a multiplicity of Anglo-Indian organisations. Be it said to their 
credit that they rallied behind Gidney. Allahabad, Bengal and 
Burma gave their full support. Only the Madras organisation, 
which preened itself on its ancient lineage and apparently was 
content to rest on its crutches, stood aside. Gidney rvas accom- 
panied by Charles Griffith of the Bengal legislature. In London 
the deputation was increased to include A.B. Running, President 
of the London Anglo-Indian Association and H.A. Gibbon, its 
Secretary. The deputation was given 4 days’ notice of its meeting 
with Lord Birkenhead, the Secretary of State. Gidney was at his 
best in periods of stress and urgency. He engaged relays of 
stenographers and worked from early morning to early next 
morning. Ultimately his memorandum was ready for submission 
to Birkenhead. With Birkenhead were Lord Winterton, Sir 
Arthur Hirtzel, Sir Campbell Rhodes and officials of the India 
Office. Birkenhead was known for his domineering and even 
supercilious manner. At the beginning of the meeting there 
appeared to be signs of a clash between two men with almost equally 
aggressive outlooks. Incidentally it is interesting to note that the 
former F.E. Smith had as his crest the polished Latinism, ‘Faber 
Meae Fortunae’, ‘The Smith of my own Fortune*. The Anglo- 
Indian leader who had forged h» fortune against much greater 
odds had for his motto, ‘The Impossible is Possible*. Birkenhead 
wanted an assurance from Gidney that the proceedings would be 
treated as completely confidential. Gidney, however, maintained 
that in fairness to his Community the memorandum, which was 
virtually a public document, should not be kept secret. Birkenhead 
relented and agreed that a communique would be issued and 
invited Gidney to help in its formulation. The memorandum 
emphasised the special difficulties of the Community with regard 
to its political and legal position in the Country, the threat to its 
employment in the services, its economic and cultural well-being 



THE CtDNETAN ERA 


99 


and to several other important items. 

One feature of the memorandum underlined Gidney’s own 
difficult position. As a leader Gidney was not able to move far 
ahead of the Community psychologically. Among his political 
opponents, particularly Abbott and Stark, there was always the 
tendency to accuse Gidney of abandoning their British heritage. 
There has always been a strong section in the Community which 
flaunts a pathetic and almost pathological nostalgia for the green 
fields of England which most of them have never seen. Because 
of this, we find in the memorandum an attempt to secure recog- 
nition for the Community as a group of permanent British settlers. 
This claim svas received with perplexity by the India Office and 
evoked well-merited ridicule in India. The slow-moving machinery 
of the India Office and of the Government of India took three years 
to digest the memorandum and to produce a reply. The most 
important result of the tfeputation was that the legal and political 
position of the Community was recognised and found expression in 
a communique issued by the Home Department of the Government 
of India. The right of the Community to preserve its cultural and 
social identity was recognised and also its right to freedom from' 
any kind of discrimination in recruitment to the services as Natives 
of India. The plea of the deputation for an Anglo-Indian military 
unit and also for a training-ship was rejected. Apart from 
clarifying the position of the Community and thus allaying the 
fear of expulsion of the Community from the services, it also helped 
to make clear to Anglo-Indians the fact that they were part of the 
Indian nation although entitled to preserve their own cultural and 
social identity. 

The Simon Commission 

In Jus svork before the Simon Commission and later during the 
three sessions of the Round Table Conference Gidney soared to 
even greater heights. On the announcement of the Indian Statu- 
tory Commission, popularly known as the Simon Commission, 
Gidney made an appeal for a united effort by the Community. 
Even Barton and Stark came forward to cooperate. Gidney was 
unwell during the preparation of the memorandum, but left his 
sick bed to dominate the proceedings of the Association. Finally 
the memorandum, a bulky document, was produced. In some 



100 THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

respects it was rather irrelevant. It was, in many parts, a repetition 
of the memorandum to Lord Birkenhead. On the completion of 
the memorandum Gidney had it published. This caused an 
immediate break with Stark and Barton who accused Gidney of 
breach of faith. Yet it is difficult to sec how the document, which 
seas meant for publication, could hase been kept under the tabic. 
The memorandum was received by the Indian Press svith scathing 
denunciation. The ‘Bengalee’ of Calcutta condemned the “Gidney 
Manifesto” and the "Eternal mendicant attitude towards the 
Government and the British mercantile class which svas the banc 
of Anglo-Indian politics." 

When the Commission returned to India, on its second visit, 
Gidney did not find a place in the Indian Joint Parliamentary 
Committee. He resented this exclusion and had to accept appoint- 
ment as adviser to Sir Arthur Froome, the European Representative. 
Incidentally, Froome had little, if any, interest in Anglo-Indian 
aflairs. On the 26th November, 1928, the Anglo-Indian delegation 
consisting of Gidney, the Rev. G C. Rogers, the Rev. Mr. Hobson, 
Mr. McGuire, the Rev. Mr. Curtis, Mr. Cameron and Mr. 
McCluskie met the Commission. Many years later, the Rev. 
George Rogers reminisced to me on the way m which Gidney 
towered over the rest of the delegation. He had the latest facts 
and figures at his finger-tips and was able to reply readily and 
convincingly to questions put to him by members of the Commission. 

On one matter, however, the delegation blundered. Unlike 
the European Association, which could afford to have the services 
of an expensive constitutional lawyer, the Anglo-Indian delegauon 
had no such resources at its disposal. When asked to formulate 
precisely the kind of statutory safeguards, which Gidney was so 
insistent on, particularly in respect of protection for the Community 
in the services, of their education and their political representation, 
no ready-made formula was forthcoming. This svas unfavourably 
commented upon by several newspapers including ‘The Statesman’. 
Needless to say, it was seized upon by armchair critics, of which 
there are plenty in the Community, as a suitable stick with which 
to beat Gidney and the Association. Nevertheless when the report 
of the Simon Commission emerged in the latter part of 1930, it bore 
ample testimony to the extent to which they had been deeply 
impressed by the evidence given before them by the Anglo-Indian 



Tini GIDNETAX ERA 


101 


delegation and more especially by Gidney. The need for the 
protection or the interests of the Community in respect of service 
quotas, education and additional political representation in the 
legislatures was fully recognised by the Commission. 

The Round Table Conference 

Gidney's performance at the Round Tabic Conference, which 
had three distinct sessions, represented perliaps the piecc-de- 
resistance of h is record of work for the Community. The All- 
India Anglo-Indian Association had moved the Government to 
give the Community representation at die Conference. This 
demand tvas, fortunately for the Community, granted. The first 
session of the Conference was opened in the House of Lords by 
King George V. The British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, 
spoke neat. At this formal opening 5 persons were selected to 
speak from the Indian delegation, among whom was Gidney. 
Gidney actually spoke on the 1 8th November, 1930. Inevitably, 
he stressed the need for adequate protection for the minorities. 
He underlined the recent increasing experience of the Community 
of encroachment on its economic position. He also emphasised 
the services of the Community both to India and to the British 
administration. According to the London Times, his concluding 
sentence was the most striking epigram heard at the first session of 
the Round Table Conference. Gidney concluded, “I want to 
ensure that a reformed India will not result in a de-formed Anglo- 
India.” The Conference resolved itself into several sub-commi- 
ttees. Gidney was appointed to those dealing with the minorities, 
franchise, defence and the services. Before the Services Sub- 
committee Gidney made such an impassioned appeal outlining the 
special disabilities, the deteriorating economic position of the 
Community, that he won a unanimous resolution from all sections 
of this Committee recommending that “The Public Services 
Commission should be instructed to give special consideration and 
employment to Anglo-Indians in the Government services.” 

It is not possible to give any detailed account of Gidney’s work 
both inside and outside the Conference. Outside he canvassed 
support from every available quarter. One person deserving of 
special mention is Lord Burnham. Gidney enlisted Burnham’s 
support to such an extent that, although ill, Burnham lost no 



102 


THE STORY OP T 


- ANGLO- INDIAN COMMUNITY 


opportunity of pleading the case of the Anglo-Indians both in 
committee and outside. It was a tragic blow to Gidncy, when 
after having arranged to send a special bouquet of flowers to 
Burnham on a particular morning, for his courtesy and continuing 
interest, Gidncy opened the papers to find the announcement of 
Burnham’s sudden death. Gidncy attributed Burnham’s death to 
the fact that only a day before, although ill, Burnham had pleaded 
with great emotional fervour that the European Association 
should support the Anglo-Indian case. Up to that point the 
European Association members had evinced little, if any, interest 
Anglo-Indian case. On his return to Bombay in March 
1931, as a mark or Gidney’i ceaseless and valuable efforts the 
Viceroy sent him a telegram of congratulation. Higher recogni- 
tion was yet to follow. In June, 1 93 1 , a Knighthood was conferred 
on him in the King’s Birthday Honours List. A few months later 
at Buckingham Palace Gidncy had a private audience with the 
King afler h.s investiture. One or his reminiscences was that the 
King smiled \\hen G.dney, talking to him of the Anglo-Indians, 
referred to them as "my people", and then quickly corrected 
himself by saying kour Majesty’s people and my Community". 

“ * , and * for thc Community, a discreditable reflection 

diat G’dney, work at the fust Round Table Conference, which 
nTrr^ ar ,UC r ^ and re< l ui,in 8 fnjit for ‘he Community, was 
T’" ack ° n him ^ a l 'P rom cli que of Anglo- 
jj. ° jP'* ,heir mus hroom assodation the high-sounding 
moET °r Lc S ion - went around passing 

conduct ™ n ° C ° n r CnCe aga!n5t G ‘ dnt y- That discreditable 
an unsavon * ma * ic ' ou s people, unfortunately had 

£ A=7 rCaC "°" CVCn ° n ** Anglo-Indian Association. At 
«rit of oSr MeCt * ng S ° mc of ,hc ™*nbm put Gidncy a 
Gidncy saUsfactoH the J°. rm of a . questionnaire. Although 
that even tbi* * * an5W f r f d bJ1 ‘heir questions to the extent 
confidence in , . qUcstlon f” joined in passing a unanimous vote of 
.o thk ^ "" ™ iido '“ ° r, “ rcr " mi 

the most imnorta* 1 ?” °-^ ^ ^ ound Table Conference was perhaps 
Congress PaTT^ *• *' tc » d ' d b V Mahatma Gandhi. The 
and asrreed to rw »• . w,tbd [ awn ’ !s civil disobedience movement 
an* agreed to participate in this second session. Hindu-Muslim 



T7IE C1DSZTAS ERA 


103 


dilTerences ware inevitably the central issue. There was a danger 
that the problems of the smaller minorities would be relegated to 
the background. Gidncy entered into the fray and did his best to 
bring about some kind of communal rapprochement. The Mahatma 
was prepared to concede a dominant position to the Muslims tn 
those States in which they formed the majority, particularly in 
Bengal and the Punjab. His one precondition was that there 
should be joint electorates. Gidney opposed the idea of joint 
electorates, as, in his opinion, stwould lead to the dissolution of the 
■minorities. The Sikhs were also implacable in their opposition to 
the Muslims being given a majority Note in the Punjab Legislature. 
\ST»en a position of complete stalemate had been reached Gidney 
persevered with the other minority community leaders and ulti- 
mately a minority report was submitted which formed the back- 
ground of the British Prime Minister’s Communal Award. Gidney 
claimed that he was, in fact, the lather of this minority report. 
This second session of the Round Table Conference lasted from 
September to December, 1931. 

The third and the last session of the Round Table Conference 
was comparatively short. As usual, it saw Gidney using every 
conceivable occasion to plead the case of the Community for the 
protection of their education and their position in the services. 
The most important result of Gidney’s work at the third session 
of the Round Table Conference was the acceptance of the Irwin 
Committee report on education and of the need for according 
special protection to Anglo-Indian education. 

After the conclusion of the third session of the Conference Gidney 
had to await the White Paper, -which was to embody the recommen- 
dations. On this would be based the new Act and also the 
deliberations of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee, which 
was to meet to consider this White Paper. When the White Paper 
was issued Gidney had every reason to be gratified. There was 
the recommendation of increased political representation for the 
Community. Four seats were to be granted to it in the Central 
Assembly and one in the Council of States (the Upper House). There 
was also the recommendation of statutory protection for Anglo- 
Indian education, Gidney, who was one of the few Indian dele- 
gates to be included in all the three sessions of the Round Table 
Conference, was associated with the work of the Parliamentary 



104 


THE STORE OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMENITT 


Joint Select Committee. As a matter of fact, he adopted the unusual 
procedure of offering himself for examination and cross-examination 
by the Committee, so that he would have the greatest possible 
opportunity of placing every aspect of the Community’s case before 
the Select Committee. Even after his return to India Gidney 
continued to maintain the closest contact with the members of this 
Joint Select Committee and more especially with Lord Hardinge 

C81 ^ Cn,dd ° Ck - At G ' dne >’ s insta "« Hardinge 
subnutntd to the Committee a special memorandum on behalf 

fioil C ° rnm Tf ty a- M “ cumuIativc of Gidney’s efforts the 
°u Publi5hcd a "«*»*» of the Home Depart- 
ment dated the 4th July, 1934. This resolution undertook to 
secure for the Community an overall 8% ofall those posts with which 
the Community was then associated. 

Slatutoty Safeguards 

ciL'v *' "P"* ° f "* Parliamentary Joint Select 

“ ' Vhil ' 11 » sympathedc 

10 ,h ? Commumly. there teas no recommendation for any 
ory prov,,™ ,,,, h reg„d prol „„ 0 „ pf ^ Commun ,^' 

^ G,dn 'v ,v “ understandably disappointed. Ha 

or to InOro arr 10 ^" trUSt the fa,c of lh t Community to resolutions 
7 t I “ ,n ‘ C,i ' >n i!su ' d ”> «« Viceroy - to the 
^ “™” r " “ < ’ P “’” n """ '"""“"'"a of instruction, in 

.rSiIr"5 1*»«1 « instruments ofdesMe- 

of Siam bu^Td ? ' h ' Vkm >' ,h ' Secretary 

memlr'^ „ f n °! h,ng m ° re lh ™ “ stereotyped acknowledg- 
Biftlsh°Hou * Tr “ d f ° r ““"'“r P™«ti„„.. In the 

fnttene? m Si ' Ranald Cmddock, on Gidney’s 

ptov ion inT^. “ f- the ineotpota.ion of a 

SZ» S'rr* ° f B ' 11 ,h,t “ ‘™' when making 
thf P„,™ arf t 1" S t. T '° "" R—iiways, the Customs and 

t~r- hou,d * -r - 

S. i oft H r'd in Aprii ,9m - “oXp™ 

pressed the amendment™ ,"^“'“■1^“”’^”' Unrorluni '' , »' 

been bad tactics as the W , re' Th “ ' vouJd appear to have 
8 ive futdter — ta ^ tiS XjS 



THE GIONT.TAN ERA 


105 


amendment was pressed the matter was dosed against the Com- 
munity, so far as the Home of Commons was concerned. All this 
happened while Gidney was champing at the bit in India lbs ardent 
and emotional nature had to endure seeing "hat lie regarded as a 
vital safeguard for the Community gradually being effaced from the 
legislative anvil. Typically, he suddenly made a decision to dash 
to London. His public enemies and even the Governing Body of 
the Anglo-Indian Association felt that he was embarking on a 
wild-goose chase. With the rejection of Craddock’s attempt to 
get a special provision in the Government of India Bill to protect 
the service position of the Community, it was considered completely 
illusory onGidncy’spart to hope to achieve anything when the Bill 
was being considered by the House of Lords. At this supreme 
moment Gidney lived his motto, *Thc Impossible is Possible. 
On his arrival in London he immediately had a discussion with 
Lord Hardingc. He then saw R.A. Butler, Parliamentary Under- 
secretary of State for India, "ho gave him a sympathetic hearing. 
Gidney now decided that what was known as the Dicliard Party 
was his last chance, though obviously a slim one, for getting an 
amendment moved in the House of Lords. He went to the 
committee room of this party and was met by the Secretary " o 
listened courteously to Gidney’s complaint. 

The Secretary then "ent into the adjoining room "here the 
members of the party were in conference. There was only a thin 
partition between Gidney and this room. What was said cou 
be overheard in the conference room. When the Secretary came 
to him and regretted the inability of the party to meet Gi ncy, 
as they had no time, Gidney’s pent-up emotions erupted. e 
said he found it difficult to believe that any body of Englishmen 
would deny him a hearing when he had travelled 7,000 miles to 
present the demand of a Community which had special claims 
on the British. Gidney urged that the party should hear him even 
for a few minutes. The Secretary retired and came back to inform 
Gidney that they would give him a hearing- Among those present 
were Lord Rankellieur, Chyde and Lady Atholl and the Marquis 
or Salisbury. Gidney being master of his brief, and mspired Dy 
emotion, poured forth his case precisely but surcharged with feeling. 
The Secretary of the Party was asked to draw up a bne or or 
Lloyd. Gidney then phoned Lord Lloyd who agree to mo 



106 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMSfUNJTT 

the amendment. Lord Lloyd entered the House of Lords and, 
because of lack of time, handed a manuscript amendment to the 
Lord Chancellor. Lord Hailsham, the Lord Chancellor, announ- 
ced that he had received an amendment from Lord Lloyd on very 
short notice and, according to the procedure, asked if the House 
was prepared to accept it. Lord Zetland, the Under-Secretary of 
State for India, complained that he had received no notice, but 
did not oppose the amendment. Less than an hour after the handing 
in of the manuscript amendment, it was reached on the order list. 

Lloyd got up and made a brilliant and moving speech on behalf 
of the Community. To quote only a few sentences from his speech : 
“I beg your Lordships to protect them if only in memory of their 
wonderful past services, and of the great sacrifices they made for 
us in the war. There was no Community who fought better for 

us in different parts of the world If I have spoken a 

little strongly, it is because I feel very deeply about the Community. 
We had created them; they are our own blood; they are the result 
of our civilization there.” 

Lord Zetland rose apparently to oppose Lord Lloyd’s motion, 
but before he could catch the Lord Chancellor’s eye Lord Hardinge 
rose in his seat and was called. Hardinge made an even more 
brilliant and moving speech than Lord Lloyd. There was a visible 
change in the atmosphere, for many of the members, in increasing 
numbers, nodded their heads in approval. It would appear that 
Hardinge had swung both the Government and the Opposition 
benches in support of the motion. Zetland was in a difficult 
position. He sensed the feeling of the House. He knew that if 
he pressed it to a division, the Government would lose and the 
Prime Minister had made it clear that any defeat would be accepted 
as a censure motion. Zetland replied that he did not think that 
the amendment would carry the position of the Community much 
further, but that he would redraft the amendment and make it 
more definite. On this assurance Lord Lloyd withdrew his amend- 
ment on the understanding that he would introduce a redrafted 
amendment later. After that Gidney met the Diehard Party 
Committee. 

Finally there emerged the draft, which appeared later as 
Section 242 of the Government of India Act of 1935. This 
amendment was accepted ■unanimously by the House of Lords. It 


nit CIDSETAN IRA 


107 


then came back to the House of the Commons. Sir Austen 
Chamberlain and Mr. Butler gave their complete supjwt to the 
amendment and it was accepted. Gidney’s last-minute and 
seemingly hopeless effort had succeeded beyond the wildest dreams 
of many of the Community’s most ardent well-wishers. Lord 
Wolmer was constrained to write to Gidney, “It is I and all of us 
who should congratulate you on your signal triumph in getting 
such an important scries of amendments carried at the last moment. 
This is indeed a notable achievement which I think is without 
parallel in our parliamentary annals and I do most heartily 
congratulate you and your Community on the result. It took the 
Government of India several years before they issued the resolu- 
tion, Home Department No. M/5/38, dated May 1st, 1939. i* 
resolution was in amplification of the Government of India resolu- 
tion of July, the 4th 1934, and carried out the intention of Section 
242 more precisely and completely. According to this resolution 
the Community were to hare reservations of 2J% of * hc d, ^ ct 
recruitment to the superior railway sendee, 40% in the telegrap ut 
cadre, 3% of all vacancies in the Appraiser Department of the 
Customs which were filled by direct recniitmcnt, and 8% on the 
Railways in posts with which the Community liad past assoaauon. 
As hitherto, there was a 50% reservation for the Community in e 
Preventive cadre of the Customs service. 

Gidney also had a last-minute amendment moved in Parbament 
with regard to the educational guarantees for the Community. 
This amendment also was submitted in manuscript form. It 
sought to confine the benefit of the grants for the Community o y 
to those who satisfied the definition of the term Anglo- n an 
in the First Schedule of the 1935 Act. The Marquis oT Zetland 
opposed this amendment by saying that while the vernor 
General and the Governors would ensure that the interests o 
Community would be adequately protected, these schools cate 
not only for the Anglo-Indian Community, but for Europeans, 
Jews, Armenians and, at that time, about 20% of ot er n ian 
communities. The grants, except for the indigent 
ad hoc to Anglo-Indians, were to go to the schools for the benen 
of all the children in those schools. 

In Gidney’s continuous struggle to maintain and, i P 0 ® 1 » 

strengthen the position of the Community, the provisions o 



THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


Government of India Act were his strongest and best weapons. 
They enabled him to resist the constant pressure in the Legislature 
directed against the employment of the members of the Community. 
While the safeguards were intended to provide a minimum of 
employment for the Community, the D’Souza Report submitted 
on the railway administration showed that while in the Company- 
owned Railways more than 8% of the Community used to be 
recruited, on the State-owned railways this 8% was interpreted 
as a maximum, and not as a minimum. These guarantees also 
enabled Gidncy to resist the constant pressure on the Community 
particularly during the regime of Sir Gurunath Bewoor, Director- 
General of Posts and Telegraphs, who seemed to transpose his 
personal hostility to Gidney against the Community in the Tele- 
graph Department. 

Education 

A criticism has been made, although not quite fairly, that 
Gidney did not take a sufficient interest in Anglo-Indian educa- 
tion. This criticism has to be assessed in the context of the 
conditions which governed Anglo-Indian education during Gidney’s 
public life. In about 1934 there were approximately 362 schools 
which were known by the designation Anglo-Indian. Of this 
number 153 were controlled by Roman Catholic orders with about 

34.000 pupils; 79 were run by the Anglican orders with about 

12.000 pupils; other religious bodies administered 23 schools with 
about 3,000 pupils; there were 21 non-denominational schools 
with a little over 2,000 pupils; 76 Railway schools with about 

5.000 pupils; there were also 10 Government-owned Anglo-Indian 
schools with about 1 ,500 pupils. There was thus a total of 362 
schools with about 55,000 pupils, and about 43,000 were shown 
as belonging to the Anglo-Indian and European communities. 
It will thus be seen that the education of the Community was 
prepond era tely in the hands of the clerical orders. These orders 
were fanatically jealous of their autonomy and denied any kind of 
place to the Community in the direction of Anglo-Indian education. 
Except for one or two institutions, even where lay educationists 
were appointed all the upper posts were reserved for Europeans. 

Gidney did his best to break down this European caste hegemony 
in Anglo-Indian schools, but was up against a blank wall of race 



GIDNETAN ERA 


109 


and colour discrimination. 

Gidney also attacked both the race and colour discrimination 
which was rampant in many of these schools. He complained 
bitterly of the numerous instances of this discrimination which he 
contantly saw for himself or which were brought to his notice. 
Among the teachers there was generally a false sense of values. 
Europeans had little, if any, identity of interest with their pupils. 
Even the best of them, because of the social scheme in India, 
served only to inculcate an inferiority complex in their pupils. 
The Anglo-Indian teachers also, in many institutions, sedulously 
tried to escape from the fact that they were Anglo-Indians. With 
this escapist complex they were hardly the proper psychological 
mentors for their impressionable wards. Gidney tells of an 
instance, which in his opinion was not untypical, when a group 
photograph was taken not only of the staff hut of the pupils, the 
darker members were deliberately kept out of focus. Although 
the education was in many respects good and better than that 
available in the best schools run by other communities, the under- 
lying purpose of education of making a person true to himself was 
overlooked or even perverted. Few, if any, Anglo-Indians emerged 
from these schools with their values in proper perspective. Thus 
Gidney tells of an occasion when during a tour of South India he 
visited a school. He asked the Anglo-Indian boys as to who is an 
Anglo-Indian. One replied that he is a half-caste and the other 
a Domiciled European. Gidney bitterly commented that the 
basic purpose of education was thus not served in most of these 
schools. The pupils were indoctrinated, if not with contempt for 
themselves with contempt for things Indian. 

Nevertheless, in his own way, Gidney fought strenuously for the 
strengthening of Anglo-Indian education. He realised that these 
schools, whatever their psychological shortcomings, represented 
the nerve centre of the cultural existence of the Community. Before 
the Simon Commission he devoted a large part of his evidence and 
his memorandum to the need for proper safeguards. 

Anglo-Indian Education 

ThcHartog Committee, which was an auxiliary of the Simon Com- 
mission, made a valuable survey of Anglo-Indian education. Under 
the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms Anglo-Indian education was a 



1 10 THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COiBIOJITT 

reserved subject in the provincial sphere. This meant that the legis- 
lature could vote on the grants but the final decision rested with the 
Governor who could, if a cut was imposed, restore it. It had been 
suggested by Stark and subnutted as a recommendation to the Simon 
Commission that Anglo-Indian education should be a central subject. 
It was strongly felt that if this was conceded then, at any rate, the 
Anglo-Indian schools would have to deal with one and not several 
legislatures. The Hartog Committee, however, found against 
centralisation of control. 

Gidney also resisted all attempts to hand over Railway schools, 
which were a dminis tered from the Centre, to the States. He did 
not wish these to fall victim to the different and often conflicting 
policies in the different States. As already mentioned, Gidney ’s 
outstanding achievement at the third session of the Round Table 
Conference was the appointment of a Committee known as the 
Irwin Committee to ex a m i n e and report on the subject of Anglo- 
Indian education. The Committee consisted of Lord Irwin as 
Chair m an, with Sir Hubert Carr, Sir Campbell Rhodes, Mr. Jaya- 
kar. Sir Mohammad Iqbal and Gidney as members. The Report 
made three notable recommendations. Anglo-Indian grants could 
only be reduced by a 3/4ths majority vote of the total number of 
members in the Legislature. The constitution of the Legislatures 
and the large majority required made it virtually impossible for a 
reduction to be effected. According to another recommendation, 
the Government was asked to set up Statutory Boards of Anglo- 
Indian education in the States. A vitally important recommen- 
dation was the setting up of the Inter-Provincial Board for Anglo- 
Indian and European Education. Although Gidncy’s plea for centra- 
lisation of control had been rejected, yet through this Board a great 
measure or coordination and uniformity was hoped to be achieved. 

Understandably, Gidney had always fought for a reasonable 
measure of control of Anglo-Indian education being in the of 

the Community. But this was implacably resisted by the religious 
orders. The unfortunate intensity not only of religious but of 
denominational feeling was exhibited at the time of the setting 
up of the Advisory Boards on Anglo-Indian Education. The reli- 
gious orders resented the setting up of these boards, as they felt they 
would lead to the intrusion by the Community In the direction of 
Anglo-Indian education. Not only did they resist the appointment of 



THE GIDNEYAN ERA 


U1 


Anglo-Indians, but they also engaged in a regular dog-fight for deno- 
minational representation. The Viceroy held a private meeting in 
order to settle the constitution of these boards. In Gidncy’s words, 
“I was the only ‘Brownie* against a phalanx of British Kodaks." 

Regrettably, both the European and the religious interests won. 
The Community was reduced to a minority and the retrograde 
principle of denominational representation was virtually accepted. 

Gidncy always resisted the plea by the clerical orders that the 
Community had no right to intervene in educational direction and 
policy. He based the claims of the Community on the fact that at least 
half of the expenditure in a school was met by the fees received from 
Anglo-Indian parents; at least another one-third of the expenditure 
was met from Government grants given for the benefit of the Anglo- 
Indian Community. He, therefore, argued that, even from the 
financial point of view, two-thirds of the school expenditure came 
from or on behalf of the Community. Another glaring commentary 
on the racialism practised in education at this time was Gidney’s 
deliberate exclusion from the Inter-Provincial Board for Anglo- 
Indian Education. Gidncy was anxious to be the Chairman of 
the Board. Instead, unfortunately because of the pressure by the 
then Metropolitan of India, an obscure European was nominated to 
the Board and became its first Chairman. 

Gidney was always anxious to give some kind of financial stabi- 
lity to the position of Anglo-Indian education. It was to the Simon 
Commission and later to the Irwin Committee that Gidney made 
the plea that 50 lakhs should be funded for the benefit of Anglo- 
Indian education. These pleas were rejected on both occasions. 
When the Archbishop of Canterbury issued an appeal in 1938 for 
raising funds for Anglo-Indian schools, Gidney supported this appeal 
very strongly. Incidentally, the scheme was, later on, sponsored 
by the Duke of Gloucester. It is interesting to note that a previous 
appeal had been made in 1911, with the blessings of the King. The 
target of the 19 1 1 appeal was £250,000. In fact only £90,000 
were collected, the major portion being donated by Sir Robert 
Laidiaw. The response to the 1938 appeal was very much less. 
Gidney’s complaint was that while Britain could raise millions of 
pounds for the Jews and give the Assyrians 250,000 pounds for a 
national home, it was unwilling to raise even 300,000 pounds fora 
community of its making and to which it owed so much. 



1 12 THE STORY OP THE AKGLO-INDIAN COXWCNirY 

Unemployment 

The evil of unemployment has always bedevilled the Community. 
There has always been a certain residuum of unemployment in the 
Community. As in all communities a fraction of the residuum 
has been the unemployable : but the major part of the unemploy- 
ment in the Community has been a reflection of the utterly back- 
ward economy of the Country. Unemployment in India has 
perhaps hit most fiercely the middle and the lower-middle classes. 
And the Community falls predominantly into these strata. The 
two most acute periods of unemployment in the Community were 
after World Wars I and II. In his own way, Gidney did his best 
at least to palliate the incidence and the appalling consequences 
of unemployment in the Community. The worst period after 
World War I, when unemployment in the Community reached its 
most distressing peak, .was perhaps in 1923. Gidney sought to 
focus attention by a letter which was published in ‘The Statesman’ 
of July 1923. In that letter he gave a graphic, if heart-rending, 
description of the conditions prevailing in Calcutta, where there 
was the largest concentration of the Community. Also in Calcutta 
there has been the acutest manifestation of unemployment in the 
Community. “Take a stroll", he wrote, “through the New Market 
or Chowringhee and you will be accosted by scores of starving 
Anglo-Indian men and youths, mostly in rags, showing all the 
ravages of hunger in their emaciated faces, begging for food. Visit 
the various parks and maidans after 1 1 p.m. and you will, at times, 
see European and Anglo-Indian men, women and children who 
have in vain tramped the streets all day long in quest of employ- 
ment, sleeping with the turf as their bed and the sky as their roof. 
Others wend their way to the business quarters anxiously waiting 
for returning tiffin boys to whom they readily offer a few pice for 
the bones and crumbs left over from their masters’ tiffins. Take a 
walk along the bye-lanes of Bow Bazaar Street or of Entally and 
there you will find even the stables occupied by Anglo-Indian 
families; starving men, women and children, sleeping alongside the 
animals in the stables. Visit the neighbourhood of Sealdah or the 
bye-lanes of Upper Circular Road, where you will find these people 
living under conditions so gruesome as to defy description. . . - 
Here you will see men wearing three or four medals, huddled 
together and living with their families in indescribable filth, squalor 



THE CtDS*ETAN ERA 


113 


and destitution, their faces bearing marled evidence of utter misery 
and starvation." 

In spite of Gidney’s intense emotional involvement in the problem, 
the picture he painted was not exaggerated. It found confirmation 
in a series of letters contributed by other* interested in the problem 
and also by unemployed Anglo-Indians themselves. 

Gidney formed the idea of establishing employment bureaux 
in Calcutta, Madras, Bombay and Karachi. Unfortunately, his 
efforts, both at tliat time and later on, proved abortive. Gidney, 
however, continued his attempts, both personal and through the 
Association, to relieve the problem. As an individual he helped 
to secure jobs for many persons. Apart from constantly badgering 
the Government to address itself to the problem of middle-class 
unemployment, Gidney also resisted retrenchment of members of 
the Community. Thus he charged the Railway administration with 
deliberately discharging members of the Community to make way 
for those whom the administration referred to as ‘Indians’. Several 
Anglo-Indians had in their possession documents in which it was 
unequivocally stated that they had been retrenched in order to 
give place to 'Indians’. Thus, one Mr. Fenton, the Chief Trans- 
portation Officer of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, addressed 
Gidney personally saying that his railway had to discontinue 
employing Anglo-Indians in order to get cheaper ‘Indian’ labour. 

. An unemployment committee was formed in Calcutta consisting 
of a number of Europeans : Gidney was also on this committee. 
The Bengal Government had formed a committee of enquiry to 
investigate the causes of unemployment among the middle classes 
in Bengal. The terms of reference of this committee were 
extended, in 1923, to include the question of unemployed Anglo- 
Indians. A large amount of money was collected by the committee. 
A soup kitchen was also started, which at one time provided 40,000 
meals a year. 

In 1930 the unemployment position again became bad. A 
survey conducted by the Anglo-Indian Youth League, in 1936, 
showed that the position at that time was also acute. 

Colonization And Emigration 

< Gidney’s outlook was tinged with a certain pessimism. Thus 
he felt that without statutory safeguards the poatiost oC the 



1 14 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Community would steadily deteriorate. Gidney always antici- 
pated hostility on the part of the ‘Indians’, as he called them, 
towards the Anglo-Indians. Because of this, every now and then 
we find a tendency to seek cither an enclave for the Community in 
the Country or some kind of homeland. This inclination on Gidney’s 
part was accentuated in times of depression in the Community, 
particularly in the years 1923-24. Gidney acquired considerable 
enthusiasm for the idea of colonising the Andamans and Nicobar 
islands by the Community. He went to the extent of studying the 
agricultural, mineral, timber and other resources and potential 
resources of these islands. He even approached Lord Leverhulme, 
the soap magnate, who undertook to buy all the copra that could 
be produced from these islands. Gidney estimated that copra 
alone would bring in a total annual revenue of 4 million pounds. 

The idea was developed of sending a batch of Anglo-Indians 
as the spearhead of this colonisation scheme. The Ex-services 
Association was entrusted with the selection of a team of 12 men. 
They also undertook to pay Rs. 30/- a month per person for their 
food. The prison barracks in the Andamans were to be used for 
the purposes of housing. This scheme aroused ardent enthusiasm 
in some sections. When it failed there was a corresponding reac- 
tion of bitter disappointment. Much of this disappointment was 
ultimately directed against Gidney and the blame for the failure of 
this venture was placed at his door. But it was a venture fore- 
doomed to failure. The Senior Medical Officer, an I.M.S. man 
in the Andamans, warned that the scheme was not practicable. 
He pointed out that all previous attempts at colonisation had failed 
largely because of a virulent form of malaria, particularly in the 
Nicobars. It was estimated that it would cost at least two million 
pounds for the drainage of these malaria-stricken areas. In the 
next place, there was no purposeful attempt to place adequate 
resources at the disposal of these pioneers. Apart From the Rs 30/- 
a month For their Food, not a single rupee was given to them for 
implements and the minimum requirements for any agricultural 
scheme. 

There have been several attempts at forming colonies by the 
Community. Whitefield, near Bangalore, attracted a fair number 
of members of the Community. Another settlement was establish- 
ed at Mogra, now known as Clement Town, near Dchra Dun. 



THE CtDJiETAN ERA 


115 


Perhaps, the most ambitious colonisation scheme launched was 
by E.T. McCIuskie. McCIuskie was at one time a lieutenant of 
Gidncy. When he launched the scheme there svas some estrange- 
ment between them. A self-made man, who had started from 
humble beginnings, McCIuskie organised the scheme with consider- 
able energy. About 300 families settled in Lapra, which later 
came to be known as McCluskiegunj. At first Gidney was 
indifferent, if not opposed, to the scheme. Ultimately, on the death 
of McCIuskie, he was persuaded to become President of the Coloni- 
sation Society, which was the controlling body of McCluskiegunj. 
Gidney acquired a great deal of enthusiasm for McCluskiegunj 
and in his own way gave them a lot of assistance, particularly in the 
matter of having a road built to Ranchi. A small colony was 
started at Salur which met with very little success. Some members 
of the Community also settled at Jhargram on the then Bcngal- 
Nagpur Railway. 

Anglo-Indians In The Armed Forces 

Gidney constantly came back to the charge, seeking an adequate 
outlet for the Community’s aptitude in the armed forces. His 
plea to Birkenhead, later to the Simon Commission and then 
before the Round Table Conference for the setting up of an Anglo- 
Indian regiment failed. 

It would appear that the British authorities preferred to get 
the Anglo-Indians to undertake the odious task of internal policing 
and defence by giving them paltry volunteer allowances. Thus, 
the Indian Defence Force, as it was originally named, was predomi- 
nantly drawn from the ranks of the Community. This force of 
about 30,000 men was later renamed the Auxiliary Force. Gidney 
often referred to this body of men as representing India’s second 
line of defence. To Nationalist India, however, it was perhaps 
more appropriately defined as the second line or offence, in the 
sense that it gave offence to nationalist sentiment. From the security 
point of view this force of Anglo-Indians served a vital purpose. 
When India was denuded of military forces in World War I, the 
I.D.F. was the only body that could be relied on to enforce law and 
order in the Country. Unfortunately, the Community’s position 
was not only embarrassed but compromised by the fact that this 
force was used, without any qualms, by the British to suppress 



116 THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COiDIUNTIT 

any form or civil unrest. The police forces were usually either 
too weak, too unreliable or too communally partisan for the purpose, 

Gidney was never able to break down the blank wall of prejudice 
which informed British policy in rejecting the claims of the Com- 
munity for a regular battalion. He recalled that as far back as 
1906, 30 Anglo-Indians were sent to the Training Ship ‘Humber’ 
with the Royal Navy. Although they were favourably reported on, 
the Royal Navy refused to accept them after their training. In 
spite of British prejudice and churlish policies, in times of stress 
the blind faith of the Community, which made it volunteer without 
reserve, was accepted with alacrity when the British nation had its 
back to the wall. 

Exodus And Infiltration 

Gidney was usually concerned about what he referred to as a 
leakage from the top and adulteration at the bottom, in the 
Community. Gidney was not a biologist or an anthropologist. For 
this reason he was not able to see in perspective this Inevitable 
biological process which has occurred throughout human history 
in every nation and racial group. A number of members of the 
Community, particularly those, as Gidney put it, at the other end 
of the pigmentary spectrum, were constantly merging with the 
British community. Attracted by the lure of reserved quotas for 
the Community in the services, Goans especially and Indian 
Christians were constantly accreting. Gidney was perhaps unduly 
perturbed by this accretion. The distinction has to be drawn 
between accretion and assimilation. As long as there is assimila- 
tion from socially and culturally acceptable strata, biologists agree 
that there can be no scientific objection to this process which occurs 
in every racial group. The cultural and economic objection is 
valid when accretion is at the lowest level — such types are a drag on 
the Community and are, in fact, not assimilated to the Community’s 
way of life and thinking. I deal with this question more 
fully in the chapter entitled, ‘The Social and Psychological Pattern*. 
Kenneth Wallace, Gidney’s biographer, tells us that when Gidney 
was shown those who claimed to be of Indo-Portugucse descent 
in Cochin, he raised his hands in horror because in Cochin the 
large majority had completely merged with the labourers in Cochin 
and were to be seen engaged either in the fields or at their fishing 



THE GIDNETAN ERA 


117 


nets. They knew no English, their mother-tongue was the local 
language. Culturally, linguistically there was nothing to dis- 
tinguish them from the local labourers and fishermen. This objection 
could be understood, because these persons, whatever their alleged 
origin, had lost all traces, if they had any at any time, of cultural 
and social affinity which could give them any kinship with the 
Community. 

Gidney lost few opportunities to criticise those Anglo-Indians 
who posed as domiciled Europeans. He referred to them some- 
times as “Albino" Anglo-Indians, on other occasions as “Domestic 
Occurrences’’ and perhaps, most incisively, as “Rear-Rank Euro- 
peans”. The British community itself regarded this intermediate 
class of so-called “Domiciled Europeans” often svith ill-concealed 
contempt. 

The impact of this renegadiun was amply demonstrated in the 
census returns. Gfdney’s estimate was that at least 50,000 
members of the Community had been shown, in the 1931 census, 
in the European electorate. 

Connoisseur Art Collector 

Gidney was a well-known art collector. As a matter of lact he 
was a connoisseur. Gidney not only had the grand manner, but 
he also carried this attitude of the grandee into his domestic life. 
Wherever he lived, he did so in an atmosphere of colourful ampli- 
tude. His residence at 87-A, Park Street, Calcutta, and later on 
at 122, Prithvi Raj Road, New Delhi, would have eclipsed in many 
respects the trappings of a British Governor's residence. Gidney 
had been a not negligible shikari. During his earlier years in the 
I.M.S. he took full opportunity of his postings in Assam, the hunter’s 
paradise, to pursue the pleasures of a big game shikari. He had to 
his credit 52 tigers, 2 rhinoceros and 4 rogue elephants. Apart 
from a right and a left tiger, an achievement that not many shikaris 
can boast of, he had perhaps a unique record svith a right and left 
rhinoceros. It is believed that no shikari in India has ever yet 
bagged two rhinoceros with a right and left barrel. His house bore 
testimony to his shikar days — tiger skins, elephant feet and 
rhinoceros horns. 

Gidney’s was perhaps the finest private art collection of antiques 
in the Country. In 1 941 he was elected President of the All-India 



118 


THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


Arts and Crafts Society in Delhi. Persian carpets lay on the floor 
of his residence. There were some excellent pieces of porcelain 
of the Sung and Ming periods and a bronze vase of the Tang period, 
Georgian and Napoleon glass were some of his prized possessions 
and also Napoleon porcelain. There was also a beautiful alabaster 
vase which was said to have belonged at one time to the Marlborough 
family. Gidney also had some outstanding pieces of Indian 
carvin 8 5 * sculpture and brasswarc. A prized piece was the 
Mother Goddess, a 10th century piece of sculpture from Khajuraho, 
where some of the finest temples exhibiting ancient Indian sculpture 
and architecture are to be found. He had some fine pieces of 
Mpghul and Rajput paintings and also some old English, French 
and Italian engravings. A beautiful lampstand from a Jain temple 
and antique brass not only from India but from Persia and Tibet 
formed part of his varied collection. 


The End 

I believe that Gidney, in common with other Indian leaden, 
never enraged the rapid developments from 1912 which ultimately 
precipitated a political stampede bringing the subcontinent to 
Independence. Gidney called a conference in March, 1912, to 
consider the approach to be made to the Cripps Mission. This 
to be hts last meeting with the Community. At this time 
Gidney was far from well. The political background added 
unmeasurably to hn mental msd physical burdens. Gidney always 
mu™ ? t ,h ' ™‘ t udranced condilions, a consti- 

■■T “ T. rre safeguards for the minorities would be 
• bl ' "u* P * rll "'™‘' When Gidney met Sir Stafford 
Gidnev had h ’ C * nCW ldnd ° f P^'tical phenomenon. 

k” 0 ™ omcd «° baling with Conservative and 
Bntlh a^" 5 ° f .f arliamem wh ° an awareness of the 
r\r ,a,l r ^ India and ^ a enable awareness of 

hoX;“ n a,“ “pi”. 

social harlcm- a **1. con,ext what a person without any 
SSL! criT 1 ; 7 ditb \ and f-nily, woulS be in the social 
obligations w S u a n ° ,nhib,tions with regard to past British 
S Sr: .- H f W p**- u°«cic„c" vis-a-vis Brithh 
,h= An i‘ lo 'Iodiam. Politically Cripp, was 
nouveau rsche , Fam certain point, 0 f view this perhaps made 



119 


T1IE CIDSHAN «A 

hi, approach » .he rapidly changing condition, in India, l~ 
complicated .han .hat of a Cnmcrvative. So C “.“ .1 

™ concerned Cripp,’ a,.i.ode w„ no. only 
Gidney, callou.ly cynical and brarenl, <£*««»■«. 
staggered by Cripp.’ refund .o Rive any kind of hope 
JSZ of according any place u, .he Community m he no 

comtitution. Gidney raw hi. life’. work cram “ , "! v0 from 
o-o That 1. why he convened the conference for evolving Irom 
the*'collee.ive wudom or it, repreranta.ivc, the best motol. of 
meeting ,he Cripp.’ appmach. Gidney ~ ^'"^ri.i’h 
felt that the Community had been cynically betra)cd y 
He rent out an angui.hed cry to the Common, ty, totmten 

betrayed by the Britbh a. the altar of 1 pohucal ^ cy^^ 

was in this frame of mind that he met «* • C j,;, 

in the rammer to celebrate the golden wedding *»» «wyofho 
brodrer « the lad .daw. On hi. .ray bad, l»J Mb. ' 
an attack of mnrtroke. \\ ithin a coup e o > 
in Delhi he pawed away on the morning of the 5th , M y, 1 « 
Gidney’. mood of depredion toward, the end and dm lm bitter 
new at the ungrateful and even churli.h «-»»« ' 
received from the Community were epilomoed in his 

had written .hor.ly before hi. death to kenned ,V M 
biographer . “I .hall .pend all my life worlong ^ 
and ungrateful Community. But let me not ? ’ ’ 

mH^Sibility is last bending me. Anyhow I vwdd^cr 

bust than rust and so I still have ny hand on the umm 
plough till I am called to my ever rest.” attachment 

cfdney was buried with full military honours. Adejto 
of British parachute troops provided the pall-beamts antJ OeBnjt 
squad. The Viceroy and the Com^der-m-Ouef ^ ^ ^ 
presented among those who followed the cor C S C ‘ adioum- 

Lpect the Cor^rations of Calcutta, Madras and 
ed their meetings. Messages or appreciation symf of 

put out by Governors of Provinces and leaders ^ 

public opinion. It is a discreditable ^ tribute t o 

Government and other communities pa indifference or 

Gidney, hi. own Community in Delhi. Cher from mddleren 



120 THE STORE OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

'“•Ignorance, failed to do him proper honour. In other centres, 
However, throughout the Country the Community, through the 
All-India Anglo-Indian Association, bowed in homage and, indeed, 

"in reverential respect. Gidney continues to be remembered and 
honoured. At the Annual General Meetings or the All-India 
Anglo-Indian Association his motto, ‘The Impossible is Possible’ 
is conspicuously displayed. Several institutions and clubs are 
named after him. His birth anniversary, the 9th June, continues 
to be observed by the Association as ‘Gidney Day’. 

fVas Gidney A Nationalist 

If Gidncy’s attitude, pronouncements and policies are studied 
objectively, they will perhaps lead to the conclusion that he was 
hardly a nationalist in his outlook. Thus, before Birkenhead, 
the Simon Commission and even at the time of the Round Table 
Conference, Gidney's speeches and utterances were characterbed 
by the distinction he drew between Anglo-Indians on the one hand 
and ‘Indians', as he called them, on the other. Gidney never 
referred to the Community as Indians. He spoke of statutory 
natives of India, nationals of India, citizens of India, but it would 
appear that on no occasion did he describe the Community as a 
Community of Indians. 

Yet, in many ways, Gidney was a progressive. By many sections 
of Indian opinion he was regarded as liberal and advanced in his 
thinking. He was accorded several civic receptions; one at Madras 
in 1934 and another at Lucknow in 1937. These civic bodies 
were dominated by members of the Congress Party. At these 
receptions he was welcomed and honoured as an Indian. . £)i* 
these occasions Gidney showed that he was no narrow communaJ 
He realised that Anglo-Indians could only find their place in Indi, 
if they shed their complexes and inhibitions. Speaking at Wy 
Lucknow civic reception he pleaded for a national outlook. He ' 
emphasised that communalism is the negation of nationalism. 
Often in his speeches to the Community he exhorted them to 
identify themselves with the peoples and the interests of India. 
Speaking at Bangalore, he said, “Deny the fact that you are sons 
and citizens of India, disclaim it, conceal it in your efforts to ape 
what you are not, and you will soon be the ‘not wanted’ of all. 
The opportunity is yours today to more closely associate yourselves. 



THE GIDNEY AN ERA 


121 


from early school life, with the rest of India, to realise that you, 
with all other communities, have a right to live in this, your Country, 

and that you are first and last sons of India But if there is 

one thing which you must completely eradicate from yourselves it 
is the retention of the 'superiority’ and 'inferiority’ complexes; 
and you should bring about their replacement with a complex 
of equality." 

A constant theme in Gidney’s speeches was his denunciation 
of race and colour discrimination. Thus he condemned unreserve- 
dly this discrimination both in the I.C.S. and the I.M.S. He was 
unqualified in his condemnation of European clubs and of the 
snobbery practised in them. It is known that he fought stre- 
nuously against the ostracism practised by a European Club in 
Central India against Indian members of the I.M.S. He indi- 
cted European women as being the worst offenders in this respect. 
He fought against the extravagant allowances given to Europeans 
by the Lee Commission. He referred to these allowances as the 
‘Lee Loot*. 

There is no doubt that Gidney was a progressive leader in thfc 
context of the then obtaining attitudes and complexes of the 
Community. By persons such as Abbott and Stark he was 
constantly accused of sacrificing the heritage or the Community. 
Gidney was also confronted with certain inhibitions in the Com- 
munity. Gidney’s policies certainly represented a striking advance 
on the position taken up by Anglo-Indian leaders who preceded 
him. He was unqualified in his emphasis that the Anglo-Indians 
are nationals of India and could only find their proper place ifthey 
moved with and accepted the other peoples of India without the 
pl'bitions and complexes of the past. Gidney was ahead of the 
rd core of Anglo-Indian thinking. Yet he could not go too far 
*iead for fear of being misunderstood and misrepresented in his 
<Swn Community. 



CHAPTER VH 


WORLD WARS I and D 


The Burma Epic 

THE AUXILIARY FORCE 


World War I 

F OR many years the leaders of the Community had agitated 
for restoration of the position prior to 1 791 when Anglo-Indians 
were admitted freely and without discrimination into the British 
Army. The subject was mooted as far back as 1879. Dr. EAV. 
Chambers, the President-Founder of what was then known as the 
Eurasian and Anglo-Indian Association, had raised this question 
repeatedly. At a meeting held in the Dalhousie Institute in 
Calcutta in 1885 under the auspices of the Anglo-Indian Association 
presided over by the Rev. W.H. Bray it was resolved to apply to 
the Secretary of State for India to move the British Parliament 
for early sanction of at least one local Anglo-Indian regiment. In 
a long and able speech, W.C. Madge, C1E, dealt with the military 
potential of the Community. He referred to the fact that Col. 
Wooldridge, who commanded a Legion in the Crimean War and 
held an important post of observation in India during the Mutiny, 
had submitted a scheme in 1877 for employment of members of the 
Community. Among other things Col. Wooldridge observed, “I 
have made it my business, during a residence of 16 years in this 
country, to occupy my leisure hours in the study of this much 
neglected people. I can vouch for their personal courage. Their 
activity and their intelligence compare favourably with the robust 
frame of the Europeans and there are, moreover, thousands who, 
after a few months’ training, with regular food and proper exercise, 
may compete with any soldiers in the world.” 

After the declaration of war on the 5th August, 1914, J.H. 
Abbott, President-in-Chicf of what was then known as the Anglo- 
Indian Empire League, wired to the Commander-in-Chief offering 



WORLD WARS I AND II 


123 


to raise a regiment of Anglo-Indians for service abroad as Bellas a 
corps of women nurses. This offer was, however, declined by the 
military authorities. In spite of this rebuff the Community did not 
sulk into a seme of wounded pride. Thousands sought active 
service wherever it was available to them. By 1916 at least 6000 
Anglo-Indians had joined various British units as Europeans. 
Thus a large number of Anglo-Indians were enlisted in the Dorset 
Regiment. In the result their identity and records of gallantry 
were lost to the Community. The Cavalry and the Royal Artillery 
attracted the Anglo-Indians more than the Infantry- As an old 
soldier, Reg Newing, the President for many years of the Me- 
dusklegunj branch of the All-India Anglo-Indian Association, 
has written, “As Gym Instructors, Signal and Gunnery Instructors 
they were as good as the best from Britain. In sports they were 
certainly superior and in the boxing ring as good as the best soldiers 
from Britain.” . 

On the 15th March. 1916, the Army authorities, after much 
dragging of feet, sanctioned the raising or an Anglo-Indian Force 
as an integral part of the British Army. It was decided that .at the 
first instance two Field Troops of Cavalry, one section of Reid 
Artillery and 16 platoons of Infantry should be raised. This belated 
sanction was received with mixed feelings by the leaders of the 
Community, although they welcomed the removal of the colour 
bar which was the real obstacle. Thousands or the best material 
in the Community had already entered British regiments as 
Europeans. , 

Of the Anglo-Indian units the Anglo-Indian Battery was ute 
most popular. It was located at Jhansi and attached to the 77th 
Royal Field Artillery. Commenting on the quality oT the men 
Lt. Col. Grove, Commandant, 77th Royal Field Artillery, sat , 
“You have, besides your keenness, shown that you have plenty o 
stamina and your discipline has been good from start to is . y 
opinion is that you as a Battery are equal to most an e “ cr * n 
some, and that with very little more training you will be able, 
if called upon, to go to the front, and render an account of your- 
selves there.” _ . r . 

On the 2nd or October, 1916, the Anglo-Indian Battery ltd 
Rawalpindi for the front. They were seen off amidst scents o 
enthusiasm at Karachi on Monday, the 23rd October, 1916. The 



124 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

quality of the men was such that although the original decision 
was to constitute only one Field Section consisting of one Lieutenant 
and 70 NCOs and men, the number was increased to three 
Lieutenants and about 300 NCOs and men. 

Commenting on the service of the Battery on the fighting front 
the Adjutant-General of India, on the Bth October, 1917, 
stated, “The General Officer Commanding Force ‘D’ has reported 
favourably on the services rendered by the Anglo-Indian Units 
employed in Mesopotamia and has stated that he would be glad 
to have more of them if available.” Men from all sections of the 
Community had joined. Those from the highest rung, socially and 
educationally, educationists, teachers, graduates, professional and 
business men worked and fought besides those from the lowest. 

Apart from their qualities in the field, they were more than able 
to hold their own in other competitions. Thus No. I Company 
secured a record in the British Army shooting competitions. In 
cricket, hockey, football and tennis their teams were unbeaten. 

On the return of the Battery to India, the Adjutant- General 
wrote to Gidney as follows : “I am directed to inform you that the 
Anglo-Indian Battery will return shortly from Mesopotamia. The 
exact date will be communicated to you when known. At the 
same time, I am requested to convey His Excellency the Com- 
mander-in-chief’s appreciation of the good services which this 
Battery has rendered in Mesopotamia.” 

The return of the Battery was a red-letter day in Bombay. The 
schools were closed : business firms gave their employees special 
leave: railway workshops were closed. On behalf of the 
Commander-in-Chief and the people of India, Brigadier-General 
St. John, accompanied by hb staff, welcomed the Battery back to 
India paying a golden tribute to their service in Mesopotamia. 

On behalf of the Community, Gidney extended to the men a 
hearty welcome and warmly eulogbed their services. 

The Volunteer Artillery Battalion 

The Volunteer Artillery Battalion raised in Burma from the 
Anglo-Indians shared in the siege of Kut and established a proud 
record which deserves to be at least duly acclaimed. A Britbh 
unit with half their achievements would have been officially invested 
with the aura of super-heroes. 



VOKLD WARS I AND It 


125 


Major E.B. Davcrn, CIE, formerly 2nd Lieutenant in the 
Volunteer Artillery- Battalion, Rave the following account of how the 
Volunteer Battalion helped to keep the Turks out of Kut on X mas 
eve in 1915. 

“At 7 a.m. the Turkish guns began to ran 5 e on the fort front 
line And lack kilns. This wat the most intense bombardment 
that they had yet eaperieirced. Some 26 guns concentrated 
on the fort alone svith a pitiless rain of projectiles. Large pieces o 
She walls of the Sirmoor Bastion and of the north-east face were 
falling in. Tile tsro guns they had store not permitted to reply to 
this tornado, so they sought the best possible shelter, ut w CTCVC * 
they went the shells searched them out: they poured in from all 
directions. The din was terrific. One had to shout to his 


neighbour to be heard." . . . 

"At 10 a.m. a shell pierced the roof of the dug-out in which the 
crew of Freeland's gun were sheltering. Chnstison Gilbert, 
Ingham, Lonorgan and Blazey were wounded, the first three 
seriously. The dug-out was promptly evacuate an on y jus 
time, as two more shells quickly found their way m completing the 
disaster.” , 

“It w-aa now clear that the Turks were going to mount 
impending attack which had been carefully built up. c ng 
Indian Battery hastily took out their bayonets so that they co 
fight. The position assigned to them was the barricade which h 
been built across the mouth of the Sirmoor Bastion tween t c wi 


walls.” 

‘‘The .... whose dug-outs ran along the north-east face, wc 
very badly shaken by the shelling to which they ha C ” SU ot 
The O.C. of the Fort was made aware or this fact but steps 
appear to have been taken at the time to re leve 1 
Artillery telephone wires from the Observation to ® . . 

scattered about the brick kilns had been destroy e ear y - 
of many gallant attempts to restore communication, res 
in the line kept occurring. They, however, hoped that some of .he 
batteries would assist them at the psychological momen . 

“At 11-30 a hail of small arm fire broke out the 
shrilled their warning blasts and the men spnnted I for j hc ‘ r P°* * 

The Anglo-Indians mounted the platform of the arrica e, 
positions alongside the bombers of the Oxfords an opene 



126 THE STOP.T Of THE ANGLO-INDIAN COSUfUNITT 

fire at the advancing tide of Turkish Infantry who were breaking 
over the battered outer walls. The Volunteer Artillery Battalion 
took to their new environment like old hands in spite of heavy 
casualties. Lecky, Thompson and Mullerworth dropped dead 
without a groan, being shot between the eyes. McGowan was 
shot through the thigh. About 20 of the Oxfords and the I03rd 
were killed outright, most of them being shot through the brain. 
Some of the Turks were using a heavy leaden bullet about .577 
bore, the wounds from which were particularly nasty. The 
wounded were being cleared as quickly as possible, as the space 
at the disposal of the men was none too large for free movement 
and their movement was impeded by the increasing number of 
corpses. The remnants of the Oxford bombers did great execution, 
hurling their deadly missiles with telling effect into the masses of 
Turks who were ultimately checked at the broken ramparts. After 
half an hour of bitter fighting the Turks began to retreat. Then 
pandemonium was let loose. British and Indian troops, drunk 
with the lust of battle, leapt to the shattered remnants of the walls 
yelling and cursing like men possessed and at the same time dis- 
charging a devastating hail of lead as rapidly as their magazine 
would permit. Freeland, with some of the Anglo-Indian unit, ran 
along to the gallery on the left from whence they discovered a knot 
of about 20 Turks in a ditch under the walls leading to the under- 
ground tunnel : these they quickly wiped out.” 

"Gradually, the din of battle began to subside and a deathly 
calm seemed to prevail punctured only by the groans of the 
wounded and the dying. They discovered that a very critical 
situation had prevailed for some time on the north-east face 
between them and the river bastion. Major Anderson, the O.C. 
of the Anglo-Indian Battalion, who stayed behind to superintend 
the removal of the breach blocks of the guns after having seen this 
carried out, collected all the men he could lay his hands on and 
hastened to reinforce the Anglo-Indian Battalion when he met the 
O.C. of the 119th who shouted out that he was proceeding to report 
that his men were retiring to the second line as the enemy was 
already in the fort. Upon this Anderson immediately diverted his 
small party to the point of danger : cleaving his way through the 
retiring Indian troops with his near-handful of men he evicted the 
intruders and inflicted considerable losses on them. How Anderson 



WORLD WARS X AND I! 


127 


accomplished this feat, he has never been heard to relate. The 
Rajput Company or 1 19 who were holding the outlying trench near 
the river bastion, however, did not retire with the other troops. 
It was fortunate for the Anglo-Indian Battalion that the Rajputs 
held their position, as they were able to enfilade the Turkish 
attackers on the north-east face. The Anglo-Indians at the barrier 
had no idea while the struggle lasted how near they had been to 
disaster. The Anglo-Indian guns suffered heavily. Davemhadtwo 
wheels blown to bits while Freeland had sustained two direct hits.” 

"While the Anglo-Indian Battalion was undergoing a pommelling, 
a strong feint had been made against the whole of the rest of the 
front line to divert attention from the main attack. The other 
troops had not realised the serious position which was faced by the 
Anglo-Indian Battalion.” 

At a dinner given to Gidney at Rangoon, Major Davem who 
replied to Gidney’s speech on behalf of the gathering, paid a 
singular tribute to the Anglo-Indian Battalion at Kut of which he 
had been one of the officers. The report in the January, 1927 
Review reads as follows : 

“Major Davem, briefly replying next, referred to the splendid 
work done by the Anglo-Indian lads at the siege of Kut. He 
mentioned the fact that the officers at Kut had always spoken very 
well of them. They were, he said, equal to any other unit. 
Where discipline was concerned, they were superior. There 
was no doubt about it that the boys did what they were asked to do 
and did it properly. Major-Gen. Charles Townshend himself 
stated in his report that if it was not for the Anglo-Indian gunners, 
they would have lost Kut in December.” Kut had been invested 
by the Turks on the 8th December, 1915. After a siege of 143 
days, Kut was captured by the Turks. The British forces which 
included a number of Anglo-Indians were sent into captivity in 
Eastern Turkey. When welcoming the Anglo-Indian Battery in 
Bombay, Gidney referred to the gallantry of the Anglo-Indian 
Volunteer Battalion from Burma. He mentioned that only one- 
third had survived their grim ordeal. 

Achievements Not Recorded 

The Machine Gun Volunteer Corps which distinguished itself 
against the Germans in Africa consisted predominantly of Anglo* 



128 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Indian volunteers. Many of them were decorated for gallantry. 

Fred Peters was awarded the D.C.M. by Gen. Smuts and was 
recommended for the Belgian Leopold II Class Medal by Gen. 
Tombeur. He was also offered a commission twice which offers 
he turned down because as a Regimental Sergeant-Major on the 
Colonial scale of pay he was in receipt of higher emoluments than 
he would have drawn as an officer. Fred Peters, with eleven 
medals, was the most highly decorated member of the Indian 
Contingent that attended the Coronation of King George VI. 
During World War II he was commanding a prisoners-of-war 
camp with the rank olLt. Col. F red Peters was, for several years, ike 
Honorary Secretary of the Jubbulpore branch of the All-India 
Anglo-Indian Association. The family tradition was maintained 
when his nephew was awarded the Sword-of-Honour at the passing- 
out parade of Indian Air Force officers at Poona in September, 
1944. It is significant that at that passing-out parade, of the 15 
officers who were awarded their wings, 1 1 were Anglo-Indians. 

The achievements of many Anglo-Indians who joined as 
Europeans were lost to the Community. Even through the mists 
of time, however, some are clearly identifiable, F/Lt. Lief Robinson 
who joined the R. A.F. in World War I brought down the first Zep- 
pelin over England: he was awarded theV.C. F/Lt. Wamefordalso 
of the R.A.F. accounted for the first Zeppelin over France. In addi- 
tion to the V.C. he was awarded the Croix-de-Guerre. Robinson and 
Wprneford were lads from Bangalore. Pcrcival Lovery, another 
Anglo-Indian from Bangalore, enlisted as a gunner and was awarded 
the \LC. One of his brothers was a Police Sub-Inspector in Madras 
and another brother a Jailor in the Mysore State. 

Majqr deMonte, an Anglo-Indian Officer in the Indian Medical 
Department (British Cadre) which consisted entirely of Anglo- 
Indians, \^as awarded the M C. for gallantry in France. 

Assistant Surgeon J.W.C. Lopez, IMD (B.C.) was awarded the 
Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry and 
devotion to duty. The citation showed that on the 17th and 18 th 
of October, 1917, in German East Africa, “He volunteered 
to remain back with the wounded when our troops fell back before 
the enemy : he helped to evacuate the wounded under fire. On 
the 8th November, 1917, his ambulance was attacked by the enemy 
and most of the stretcher-bearers were k illed. He carried a number 



WORLD WARS I AND 1J 129 

of the wounded under heavy fire to a place of safety and then 
returned with water and dressings." 

Lord Lloyd, one of the most distinguished of British adminis- 
trators, speaking in the House of Lords, said, “There was no 
community who fought better for us in different parts of the world 
they served in Mesopotamia, in Basra, up the lines of communi- 
cation, in the line. No community had a better record than the 
Anglo-Indian Community.” 

The Indian Defence Force (the I.D.F.) deserves a special, if 
brief reference. This Torcc, later known as the Auxiliary force 
(India), was drawn almost entirely from the Anglo-Indian Com- 
munity. It was recognised as India’s second line of defence. Its 
yeoman, if unpublicised, service to the State was crucial. For at 
least two yean when Britain had her back to the svall and India 
was completely denuded of fighting troops, the I.D.F. represented 
the only military* personnel on which the Government could and 
did rely for maintaining law and order in the Country. 

About 10,000 Anglo-Indians fought in the various theatres of 
war. About 25,000 constituted the I.D.F. 

Tire three strategic services, the Railways, the Posts &. Telegraphs 
and the Customs owed their stahility to the Anglo-Indian personnel. 
There were widespread strikes during the most critical period of the 
svar. But for the devotion to duty of the Anglo-Indian staff, the 
Indian Railways would have been paralysed. Every man, irres- 
pective of age or position, put his shoulder to the wheel. Anglo- 
Indian railway officers worked at menial jobs in order to keep 
trains moving. Even schoolboys put their hands to every kind of 
railway work. In addition, every Anglo-Indian railwayman of 
Military age svas required to do duties of patrolling, keeping guard 
and maintaining civil order as a member of the Indian Defence 
Force. 

The Anglo-Indian women in the Nursing Service occupied a 
unique role. Practically the whole of the St. John’s Ambulance 
work svas done by Anglo-Indian women. 

But tragically and, indeed, ironically the post-war period brought 
unemployment and disillusionment. Anglo-Indians, who had 
given up everything in order to fight, came back to cold and 
indifferent treatment by the Government. Many ex-soldiers, 
wearing their decorations, were to be found walking the streets. 



130 THE STORY Or THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

unemployed, hungry and bitter. That recurring British Govern- 
inc.ni complex of welcoming the Community’s vital services in 
times of stress and then casting them off like a trusted but no-longer- 
needed weapon was once again exhibited with almost time-worn 
cynicism. 

World War II 

As in World War I about 75% or the available manpower of the 
Community joined the different Armed Forces. The Community 
contributed, comparatively, more to the war effort than any other 
community not only in India but in the Commonwealth. 

The Anglo-Indian’s capacity for leadership was exemplified by 
the high proportion of Anglo-Indian officers in every aim of India’s 
fighting forces. There were hundreds of Anglo-Indian officers 
in the Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy and the Royal Indian 
Air Force. While there appeared some reluctance among other 
communities to join the Air Force, the Anglo-Indian, with a 
characteristic spirit of adventure, stormed this youngest and perhaps 
finest of India’s services. 

The Adjutant-General, Lt. Gen. Baker, had asked me to secure 
1350 Anglo-Indians for recruitment; 900 were wanted for the 
R.A.S.C., the R.A.O.C. and RX. for the Middle East, 350 for the 
R.A.M.C. and 100 for the Madras Coast Battery R-A. (A.F.I.). 

The R.A.F. to which recruitment of Anglo-Indians had been 
suddenly stopped was again thrown open. Air Chief Marshal, 
Sir R. Peirse, informed me that he required about 200 pilot officers 
for the R.I.A.F. as it was then known. 

In addition to our contribution to the Indian Services, thousands 
of Anglo-Indians joined the British forces. Many of them were 
fighting with the British Army in the epic Dunkirk evacuation. 

Between 3000 and 4000 Anglo-Indians were serving with the 
Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain. Many of them 
won the most outstanding awards. Manser of the R.A.F., the 
son of a former member of the Telegraph Department, was awarded 
the V.C. posthumously.' Dyson, D.S.O., D.F.C. and bar, the 
grandson of J.H. Abbott, a former leader of the Community, 
established what was perhaps a record for the largest number of 
planes shot down in single aerial combat. Dyson accounted for 
6 Italian planes in 15 minutes during operations in the Middle 



SVOM.D \TAM I AND II 131 

East. This achievement was specially commended by Lord 
Beaverbrook. 

Acting Group Captain W.G.G.D. Smith, DSO, DFC, received 
a bar to hit DSO. Gr.Capt. Smith commanded a fighter wing 
in the Invasion or Sicily and operations over Southern Italy. The 
citation stated that he destroyed in all 14 enemy aircraft and 
a large number of transport vehicles and locomotives. Gr. Capt. 
Smith was bom in 1914 at Madras and had hii home in the 
Nilgiru. 

Pilot Officer J.E. Loughran (267 Squadron) was awarded the 
D.P.C. The citation stated that this officer at all times set an 
inspiring example by his courage and devotion to duty. 

Daniel, the son or a prominent Anglo-Indian Association 
worker who was employed in the Government of India, was 
first awarded the D.F.M. as a Flight Sergeant and then iheD.F.C. 
as a Pilot Officer. 

Pilot Officer Parker of Moradabad and Lt. Commander Douglas 
of the Fleet Air Arm were two more of the many members of the 
Community, in the Royal Air Force, decorated for gallantry. 

Guy Gibson was almost a legend in the R.A.F. Gibson, V.C., 
D.S.O. and bar, D.F.C. and bar, known as the dam-buster, was 
reported killed in a sortie over Germany. Guy Gibson was bom 
In Simla : his mother was said to have come from a svell-known 
Anglo-Indian family in South India: the father’s family would 
appear to have been domiciled in India. 

The V.C. was awarded posthumously to Frank Gerald Blafcer. 
Although the citation referred to him as a British officer, a senior 
Indian General, who was educated at the same school in India, 
described Blaker and his brother as typical Anglo-Indians. The 
Victoria Cross citation reads : “Blaker charged forward alone to 
attack a Japanese machine-gun post on the summit of a hill over- 
looking Taungni in Burma. He was wounded in the arm by a 
grenade and hit three times by buffets from a machine-gun firing 
from the strong point he was assaulting. He fell to the ground 
mortally wounded but, struggling to a sitting posture, exhorted 
the men of his company to advance with the words, ‘Well done, 
*C’ Company. I am going to die but you will go on, I know.’ 
His men did go on and, before Major Blaker paid the price for his 
valour, he saw them over-run the Jap position. Before this final 



132 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITT 


assault, Major Blakcr had led his men in a wide encircling move- 
ment over unknown and precipitous jungle country, a feat of 
considerable military skill.” 

Blaker was attached to the 3/9th Gurkha Rifles. His Colonel 
wrote, “Blaker was a slight young man with an engaging personality 
and great enthusiasm. When a vacancy arose, he was appointed 
temporarily to command a company. There his flair for training 
and his leadership quickly made their mark. He retained his 
appointment in spite of his comparative lack of seniority. He 
used his initiative and ingenuity on all occasions : indeed, he even 
had to be restrained at times. He had a quick eye for ground and 
for the solution or tactical problems, and he had trained his men 
to act with Speed and resolution. The action in which he was 
awarded his Military Cross and the attack in which he was killed 
were typical of his methods.” 

Such awards as the M.C., the D.C.M. and the M.M. were won 
by many Anglo-Indians. 

Once again the military waters were muddied by the British 
policy, seemingly deliberate, of encouraging the fairer members 
of the Community (and some not so fair) to join as European 
Emergency Commissioned Officers. They were given a King’s 
Commission with much higher emoluments than those who joined 
with an Indian Commission. At least 90% of the European Emer- 
gency Commissioned officers recruited in India during World War 
II were, in fact, Anglo-Indians. 

To give only two examples of Anglo-Indians who were decorated 
while holding King's Commissions : ’Ginger’ Pcttengell, a Captain, 
won the M.C and bar during the fighting in Africa and Italy. 

’Ginger’ Pettengcll was a lad from Jubbulpore and educated at 
my old school, Christ Church. His cousin, Edgar Pettengcll, is, 
today, one of our Major-Generals. 

John Hartley first joined with a King’s Commission : later he 
transferred to the Indian Army getting an Indian Commission. 
Hartley won the M.C in Italy. The citation reads : 

"On the night 14/15, Major J.C. Hartley was ordered to attack 
and capture the farm area of Casseti in Italy. His men, under his 
inspiring leadership, broke into the well-held enemy defences and 
captured the objective. Major Hartley was able to beat back 
repeated enemy counter-attacks during which his company 



WORLD WARS I AND JI 


J33 


suffered a number of casualties. Tlianks to bis encouragement 
and organisation of his defences, he svas able to beat back successive 
enemy counter-attacks. When his forces had run out of ammuni- 
tion, he withdrew his company successfully including his casualties. 
Throughout the action, Major Hartley’s courage and coolness 
inspired his men and his bravery and powers of command enabled 
him to control and lead his command of young soldiers, including 
the withdrawal operation, most successfully. Although his 
command suffered 40% casualties, Major Hartley’s leadership and 
bravery carried his men through. He was granted an immediate 
MC by Field Marshal H.R. Alexander.” Hartley retired fairly 
recently as a Brigadier from the Indian Army. 

Dubois received the M.C. Vaughan of the Indian Medical 
Department was decorated with the D.C.M. 

Pat Dunn, who was mentioned in despatches and wounded in 
action during the Burma campaign, was the first Indian officer to 
command a battalion in the field even before Gen. Cariappa, 
the first Indian to command the Indian Army, with the then designa- 
tion of Commander-in-chief. Dunn, who was 2 IC, took over 
command after his battalion had been ambushed by the Japanese 
and many of the officers killed including the O.C. I shall have 
occasion to refer more fully to Dunn in another chapter. 

Bertie Litchfield was awarded the M.C. during the Burma 
campaign. The citation reads : "Throughout the 1945 campaign 
Maj. Litchfield commanded the 2nd Indian Field Battery and 
acted in close support of l/7th Gurkha Rifles in every action in 
which they took part. His skilful handling of his Battery on 
several occasions contributed materially to their success. ” 

"In particular at Meiktila on the 7th March while under shell 
fire from a 105 ram-gun he destroyed numbers of the enemy 
opposing our tanks on the Mahalaing road and produced sup- 
porting fire on a hostile position 20 0 yards from a damaged tank, 
thus enabling the tank and its crew to be successfully withdrawn." 

“Again on the March 26th during the clearing of Meiktila 
airfield although wounded by a grenade he remained at his post 
for six hours directing fire of the Div. Arty so skilfully that the enemy 
position was turned into a shambles and captured.” 

“Again at Ve we, Sadaung, and especially at Hefgu his bold 
handling of his Battery contributed greatly to successful actions and 



134 THE STOAT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COitUUNITT 

enabled the position to be taken with the minimum casualties to the 

Infantry.” . 

“His complete fearlessness, enthusiasm and keenness to destroy 
the enemy combined with his experience as a Troop Commander 
in the 1942 campaign were an inspiration to his own Battery and 
to the troops he supported.” 

Towards the end of 1947 Litchfield took over as Commandant 
of the Artillery School and in 1948 he went as Commander, 
Artillery, Armoured Division. During his service with the 
Armoured Division he was in the front line in the Hyderabad 
Police Action. Later he served as Brigadier-General Staff to the 
Military Government at Hyderabad. He was Director of 
Artillery when he retired. 

Regie Noronha was decorated for gallantry in hard-fought 
engagements during the Burma Campaign. Then a Major he 
was awarded, in May, 1944, the Military Cross for holding the 
line with ‘A’ Company 4th Battalion (WLI) of the Madras Regi- 
ment, against a number of attacks put in by a numerically superior 
Japanese Force, at the Battle of the Sita Ridge on the Imphal 
Front. He earned a bar to his Military Cross for heroism in 
February, 1945, in the Irrawaddy Bridge-head battle preceding 
the capture of Mandalay. For his strong determination, resolu- 
tion and coolness in the execution of the various other tasks assigned 
to him during the period November, 1943, to July, 1945, he was 
also twice mentioned in despatches. Reference is made to his 
outstanding service after Independence in the chapter ‘Saga o 
Continuing Service’. 

George Jenkins was awarded the M.C. during the fighting in 
Burma. He is a Brigadier, today, after having held the post of 
Deputy Military Secretary. 

Capt. William Alexander Lopez of the I.M.S. helped to affirm 
the dictum, not however always valid, ‘Like father like son • 
Reference has already been made to his father Assistant Surgeon, 
J.W.C. Lopez, of the I.M.D. (B.C.) who was awarded the DCM 
in World War I. Capt. Lopez was awarded die Military Cross 
for outstanding service in Burma. The citation mentioned that 
he was in charge of the Light Air Section of an Indian Ambulance 
Unit in a region of heavy fighting in Burma. While his battalion 
was crossing a river, the enemy opened up extremely accurate 



WORLD WARS ] AND JJ 


135 


fire with guns and mortars. Capt. Lopez immediately collected 
the wounded, attended to their needs and evacuated them. In 
spite of considerable danger to himself he refused to take shelter. 
On arrival at the battalion area on the other side of the river, Capt. 
Lopez set up his aid post and dealt with all casualties. The 
battalion area was still being attacked, shelled by guns and mortars, 
but he set a fine example to all by his determination. The citation 
concluded, “His devotion to duty' in most dangerous circumstances 
was an inspiration to all." 

George Charles, an Anglo-Indian lad of about 20 yean of age, 
was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in Burma, A few 
details of his exploits make interesting reading. He was dropped 
in the near of the Japanese as a Commando. He and a companion 
svere, after some time, surrounded and captured by the Japanese. 
One night, when he heard the Japanese soldiers carousing, Charies 
decided to escape from his shack. He attacked the Japanese sentry 
with bare hands. Before he succeeded in strangling the sentry, 
the latter managed to bayonet him and partly disembowelled the 
lad. His hands were also cut to the bone by the bayonet. After 
killing the sentry, he got hold of a tommy gun. With this he 
attacked and wiped out a number of the Japanese soldiers. 
Wounded severely, hungry and worn out, he wandered in the 
jungles for 1 1 days before being picked up by British troops. 

Major J.N. Pacheco of the IMD (B.C.) svas decorated by 
Marshal Tito early in 1955 at the Bangalore Residency. He 
was awarded the Titov Lik. While serving in Italy at a British 
General Hospital, Major Pacheco also had charge of a large number 
of Yugoslav partisans. He gradually learnt the language. The 
letter or citation which Major Pacheco received at the time of the 
award read as follows : 

"We would like to express ail our recognition for what you have 
done for our Jugoslav wounded and patients. We may assure you 
that all the Jugoslavs who have known you will keep you in their 
memories. With your unstinted work you have made many 
friends in Jugoslavia, and at the same time you have helped 
towards a better understanding between our two countries. Thus 
you have done your part in cementing a lasting peace. Will you 
please accept as a visible sign of our recognition the ‘Titov-Lik." 

Major Pacheco is the only Indian Army Officer to have earned 



1 0*U> hMM X AND » 


137 


branch of the All-India Anglo-Indian Association. 

Both the soni have followed in the professional footsteps of their 
father. 

The Burma Epic 

Burma was annexed by the British Government and became 
part of India and was administered like any other part of the 
Country. Because of the experience and efficiency of the Anglo- 
Indians, the Government had reserved certain cadres for members 
of the Community. A large number of them heid high positions. 
Some of them intermarried tvith the Butmans as did many 
Europeans. There was little, if any, social and cultural 
distinction between the Anglo-Indians and Anglo-Burmans. In 
1937 when Burma was politically separated from India, theofficial 
name of the Community svas changed to Anglo-Burman although 
many or them had no Burman blood — they were, in fact, 
Anglo-Indians. Up till that time there was a branch of the All-India 
Anglo-Indian Association in Rangoon. The number of Anglo- 
Indians was about twenty thousand. 

The heroism, sufferings and sacrifices of the Anglo-Indians in 
Burma deserve to be recorded as one of the greatest epics of the 
historic Burma campaign in World War 11. No official publicity 
was given to the galtantry of the Community in Burma such as 
that accorded to Burmese tribesmen. But everyone, who stayed 
there long enough to see the Japanese invasion, testified to the 
tenacious, unyielding courage of the Anglo-Indians. 

While even the officials and others were making a hasty exit 
from Burma, Anglo-Indian railwaymen and those in the 
strategic services stood by til! the end. Even the girls, working 
as telephone operators, held on till the last. Many of these were 
either killed or captured. Anglo-Indians in the Auxiliary Force 
were embodied and fought gallantly. An Anglo-Indian Anti- 
Aircraft Battery in Burma shot down 17 Japanese planes in one 
day — perhaps a world record. 

The evacuation from Burma was marked by conduct of which 
the British have every reason to be thoroughly ashamed. In his 
book ‘Trek Back from Burma’, W.G. Burchett, an Australian 
journalist who had spent some time in Burma, has given something 
of the inside story. At page 155 of his book Burchett writes, “My 



138 THE STORE OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

God”, he said (my old friend David Morrice) doffing his topee 
and wiping the sweat from his forehead, “When this war is over, 
I am going to sit down and write a book. I will call it *1 also Ran’ : 
Jesu: did they run? and the ‘Hurrah Sahibs' led the race.” 

“Then he told me something or the evacuation of 

Rangoon. Of officials dropping their work and clambering over 
each other to get away : of one of his colleagues who tried to take 
all h»s furniture with him, including a billiard table, of others who 
buried their valuables, hoping to come back soon and dig them 
up. Nurses and doctors were ordered to leave their patients and 
‘scram’.” 

Referring to the revolting altitude of superiority of the so-called 
‘Pucca Sahibs' when he was in Calcutta, Burchett writes, “This 
uncharitable, superior attitude to the Anglos was sickening. Many 
of the Anglo-Indians and Anglo-Burmans had done excellent jobs 
in Burma, staying at their posts when the ‘Pukkahs’ or Europeans 
who should have had a higher sense of duty and responsibility, 
skipped ofT to save their white skins. The Anglo-Indians provided 
the vast body of executives and white-collar workers who — never 
able to occupy the highest positions — carried the main burden or 
administration and commerce. They kept the trains running, 
manned the fire-brigades and ambulances. Anglo-Burman and 
Anglo-Indian nurses and telegraph operators performed service 
jobs up till the last, and when the collapse came, many of them 
were left to find their own way out of Burma.” 

When all hope had been abandoned and the senior British officials 
had bolted, thousands of Anglo-Indians started on a gruelling 
trek to India. Through trackless jungle and swamp, thousands 
of men, women and children battled their way to India. Words 
fail to describe the harrowing nature of their fierce ordeal. Hund- 
reds of them died by the wayside. Exhaustion, fever and disease 
took a terrible toll. It would repay the historian to ascertain details 
of the selfless courage, devotion and camaraderie that characterised 
the behaviour of these refugees. 

During my tours I met thousands of the Anglo-Indian and 
Anglo-Burman refugees in various parts of India. There was a 
particularly large camp in Coimbatore. I visited them in January, 
1943, and addressed three separate meetings. I met others in 
Dehra Dun. After I had addressed a meeting in Bombay I was 



WORLD WARS I AND II 


139 


particularly touched by the story of an elderly Anglo-Indian man. 
He was the sole surviving member of his family. His wife, two 
daughters and only son had died during the trek from Burma. The 
irrepressible spirit and, indeed, sheer guts of these people, men, 
women and children had to be seen to be believed. Theirs was 
a story not only of incredible heroism and long unspeakable 
suffering during the trek to India, but also of the most shameful 
dereliction of duty by British officers and civilians. 

The Real Heroes 

Commenting on the occupation of Rangoon, in a Colombo 
paper, dated the 17th May, 1945, a South-East Asia Command 
Military Commentator wrote, "Life in the city under Japanese 
occupation was more than grim. It was a reign of tenor for the 
Indian, Chinese, Anglo-Indian and Anglo-Burman population. 
Tood was always short. Tea, sugar and flour had been unobtain- 
able for months. There was no attempt at price control and 
Japanese invasion currency, which now linen every street, poured 
forth in a never-ending stream until it was of little value." 

‘‘The very suspicion of espionage was enough to bring torture. 
To own an electric torch was a crime. To be clad decently, to 
appear to have enough to eat, wa* to bring down the rvrath of the 
preachers of the Greater Asia theory.” 

“There is no doubt that the real heroes or Rangoon were the 
Anglo-Indian and Anglo-Burman communities. They were 
continually under suspicion. If they did not work, they were 
accused of getting money from the British. If they did work they 
were told they were spies.” 

“Many of the older people never left the streets in which they 
lived from the time the Japanese entered until they fled. They 
escaped forced labour by a variety of excuses, and they were the 
best friends the British prisoners in the gaol had. Whenever 
possible they passed news, cigarettes, clothings and fruit to them. 
The sufferings of these people were almost a3 great as those of the 
prisoners, but their loyalty never flagged.” 

The Rev. A. Alcssi, S.C., wrote, “Next to the Army which 
fought in Burma and eventually liberated it, and whose story of 
heroism and sacrifice is svritten in the graves of the soldier s which 
dot the countryside from Imphal to Rangoon, the Empire and 



140 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Burma owe their deepest debt of gratitude to the Anglo-Indian and 
Anglo-Burman Community. During the three years of the enemy 
occupation of Burma the loyalty of this Community and their love 
for their Motherland has never faltered.” 

“With every new Army Division which has entered Burma we 
have seen Anglo-Indian youths fighting shoulder to shoulder with 
the men of Britain, of India and the Empire. We have heard, too, 
of the thousands of Burma refugees from this Community who are 
still in India and are so loyal to their Motherland and attached to 
Burma. But I propose to speak of those of the Community — 
more numerous still — who could not follow the Army to India and 
who had to remain behind in the hands of the enemy.” 

“I have known thousands of these poor unfortunates during the 
past three years of bitter suifering. I have shared with them the 
sorrows and the humiliations of the Japanese occupation, and I 
have shared with them, too, the rapturous joy of the liberation. 
And I can testify that for unfailing loyalty and steadfast confidence 
and courage amid the gravest dangers there is no people in the 
British Empire who will surpass the Anglo-Indians and Anglo- 
Burmans.” 

“With their education and their experience in the many 
branches of Government service they might have become the pivot 
of the new Government, they might have secured the best posts 
and the biggest salaries with the Japanese, but to a man they 
remained loyal. Without a thought they chose for themselves 
hunger and persecution, but they would not collaborate with the 
enemy.” 

“They were systematically suppressed and interned and for no 
other reason than they were loyal. While members of other 
communities whole-heartedly collaborated and piled up wealth 
which they converted into jewels, gold and silver, Anglo-Indians 
and Anglo-Burmans had to dispose of all their ornaments and all 
their personal possessions, even down to their last shirt. They were 
forced to sell everything for a few pies with which to purchase a 
handful of rice for themselves and for their children. The 
liberating Army, when it re-entered Burma, found most of the 
Anglo-Indians and the Anglo-Burmans bare-footed and wearing 
their last tattered shirts and pants.” 

“Only two months previously one who lost her husband and all 



WORLD WARS I AND It 


141 


-sxitr - ™s“ ~~z 

SSS^gSrswre 

C tS«d .he following tribute h- a European 

evacuee from Burma. Railway in Burma. 

"WMe I » - * ’ h "a„"for myself 

I svas in a unique pouuon to knmv, t slirrine 

what the Anglo-Indian driven and lrc m e h 1 further, 

limes. They, a. lea,, .he major..,', «“ dt “ ^“huy "ould 
they were called .0 tale up dude, when, poor fellows, .hey 
hardly sland on .heir fee. with fads”'- d olion ,p duly of 

••I lift my hat in admiration of .he deed, ol ues 
these Anglo-Indian lad,." thM they were 

"One of die mo,, amar.ng "hmg, about d „ the 

espeeted, in fact, were depended upon >° *“ clt ” „ 
last, when mo,, if not all the re,, had cleared out. 

Our Women - 

The contribution of Anglo-Indian women mQrc to 

without comparison. Anglo-Indian wmen communities 

the war effort than all the women of all the other 

in India put together. Rf> ent D f the Women's 

Anglo-Indians commuted about 80 per e - A , V . 

Auxiliary Corps. Some of .hem rendered signal f^ 

Hubbard, a girl from Khara^ur^^en ^ Indt an Military 

outstanding service in the Middl . - drew about 

Nursing Service and the Auxiliary These women 

70 per cent of their strength fium the 1 

served in almost every rhealre of — - < ^“““UnS- 

Libcral National M.P- for Bristol aher > ^.ifled 

frond, said, “During our vbst to Indian h °T"“ and many 

at die care that i, being bestowed upon the patient. 



142 TIB STOUT or m AS'CIO’KDIAK COIWUNITT 

iributci have been paid to the Anglo-Indian mines.” India's 
fighting men, irrespective of caste or creed, owed an irreparable 
debt to the Anglo-Indian nurses. The Women's Voluntary Service 
also consisted predominantly of volunteer workers from the 
Community. Addressing me on the work or Anglo-Indian women. 
Lady Bird, the chief organiser of the Women’s Voluntary Service, 
paid a tribute to "The many devoted and reliable Anglo-Indian 
workers in the different Provinces." 

Helen Rodriguez— G. At. 

The services of Miss Helen Rodriguez, Matron, Civil Hospital, 
Taunggyi, symbolised the courage and devotion to duty of the 
Anglo-Indian women. The citation of the George Medal award 
reads as follows. 

"The King has been graciously pleased to give orders for the 
following award : 

"The George Medal. 

“Miss Helen Rodriguez, Matron, Civil Hospital, Taunggyi. 

"When Taunggyi was attacked by two waves of Japanese 
bombers, Miss Rodriguez displayed the utmost courage and 
devotion to duty. The military hospital was bombed and in the 
absence of stretcher-bearers, Miss Rodriguez carried patients on 
her back to places of safety. While performing this heroic task she 
was bombed and machine-gunned. She returned to the Civil 
Hospital and herself performed many operations, remaining on 
duty with practically no sleep for four days and nights. Her 
courage, initiative and complete disregard of her own safety were 
in the highest traditions of the Nursing Service." 

Miss Rodriguez came from a Bangalore family : her father was 
Major Rodriguez of the IMD (B.C.). 

Civilian Services 

But for the ready and complete response of the Angto-Indian 
Ratlwaymen, the Indian Railways could never have stood up to 
the unprecedented strain suddenly imposed by a vast and un- 
expected war effort. Long before 1939, those conversant with 
railway conditions had warned the Government that owing to the 
outworn and inadequate rolling stock the railways would collapse 
under the impact of war conditions. Only those who actually 



VORLD VARS I AND tl 


143 


ran the trains could speak adequately of the almost superhuman 
‘effort that was required to keep them, and consequently the war 
effort, moving in India. The Railways were literally the wheels 
on which India’s magnificent contribution to the war, in men and 
material, moved. This crucial service was only made possible by 
the running sta(T having to work, very often, for unbroken periods 
of 20 to 30 hours at a time. The disturbances of August, 1942, 
made the position critical. Murder, anon and the uprooting of 
railway track were the order of the day. In the areas around 
Bihar and through which the troops and supplies, necessary to 
Tesist the Japanese invasion, had to be carried, conditions were 
chronic. But for the Anglo-Indian Raihvaymen and also for their 
military service in doing patrol and sentry duty’, as memben of die 
Auxiliary Force, the war effort would have been completely 
paralysed for a considerable period. 

To the Posts and Telegraph Department also the Anglo-Indians 
made a vital contribution. In the face of unprecedented strain and 
unrest, Anglo-Indian personnel kept this strategic service intact 
and efficient. 

Even during the war the almost perverted British seme of 
ingratitude and discrimination persisted against the Community. 
I had to fight it repeatedly. I have already referred to the hundreds 
of Anglo-Indians who had joined the different branches of the 
British Army as a result of a special appeal made to me by the 
Army authorities. Four years after they had joined the Royal 
Engineers, 77 Anglo-Indians had their conditions or service with- 
drawn on the plea that they had been mistakenly enrolled and that, 
if they wished, they could re-enrol under the Indian Army Act. 
"When I pointed out to Gen. Deedes, the then Adjutant-General, 
that there were a number of cases of Anglo-Indians wrongly 
commissioned as King’s Commissioned Officers, the reply I received 
was, “The ease of Anglo-Indians wrongly commissioned as K.C.Or 
■was somewhat different. There were special considerations 
affecting them and as compared with other ranks, their number 
was small.” This was a deliberate perversion of the truth. As I 
had repeatedly pointed out in the Central Legislative Assembly 
(the predecessor of Parliament) more than ninety per cent of the 
so-called European Emergency Commissioned Officers from India 
■were, in fact, Anglo-Indians. 



144 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

The Auxiliary Force 

The Auxiliary Force was constituted by the Auxiliary Force Act 
of 1920. This Force was the successor to the Volunteer Forces 
which in 1917 gave place to the Indian Defence Force. 

On the 1st July, 1939, the approximate strength of the Auxiliary 
Force including the reservists was 29,346. The Auxiliary Force 
which was disbanded with effect from the 14th August, 1947, had 
a long and proud record. To mention a few of the units ; the Bihar 
Light Horse, the Calcutta Light Horse, the Surma Valley Light 
Horse, the Assam Valley Light Horse, the Northern Bengal 
Artillery & Auxiliary Force, the 1st Calcutta Field Brigade, the 
IVth Cossipore Field Brigade, the Agra Field Battery, the Cawnporc 
Field Battery and the Infantry Units which were originally formed 
of the Eastern Bengal Railway Battalion, the Great Indian Peninsula 
Railway Regiment, the Bombay, Baroda and Central India 
Railway Regiment, the Bengal and North-Western Railway Battalion, 
the South Indian Railway Battalion, the Madras and Southern 
Mahratta Railway Rifles, the Bengal Nagpur Railway Battalion, 
the Nagpur Rifles, the Punjab Rifles, the Simla Rifles, the Bangalore 
Battalion, the Allahabad Rifles, the Dehra Dun Contingent, the 
Sind Rifles, the Eastern Bengal Co., the Poona Rifles, the Kolar 
Gold Field Battalion, the Calcutta Scottish, the Delhi Contingent, 
the Coorg and Mysore Co., the Ycrcaud Company, the Cawnporc 
Contingent and the Karachi Corps. 

In all there were 24 Cavalry and 48 Infantry Units. 

During World War II some of the Cavalry units were embodied 
with the Madras Coast Battery. This Battery, which had been 
raised on the 1st January, 1879, from the Madras Volunteer Guards 
was designated the Madras Artillery Volunteers : it was redesignated 
as the Madras Coast Battery, RA, on the 25th November, 1941 : 
it was administered as part of the Madras Contingent from the 1st 
April, 1933, to the 15th January, 1942. It was embodied for 
service with the Regular Army from the 25th May, 1940, to the 
31st March, 1946. 

The Bombay Coast Battery, RA, which was formed as the Bombay 
Volunteer Artillery on the 6th June, 1887, became the 4th (Bombay) 
Group Garrison Artillery on the 1st April, 1917, and No. V 
(Bombay) Field Brigade on the 1st October, 1920. One Battery 



WORLD WARS I AND It 


145 


was redesignated as the Bombay Coast Batter)'. RA, on the 1 5th 
April, 1941, and embodied for service with the Regular Army 
From the 25th May, 1940, to the 31st March, 1946. 

No. 3 (Bombay) Fortress Company, RE, which had been raised 
on the 1st April, 1903, from the Bombay Volunteer Artillery, was 
embodied for service with the Regular Army from the 25th May, 
1910, to the 1st May, 1946, 

No. 1 (Madras) Signal Company, RCS, which had been raised 
from the Madras Artillery Volunteers, became No. 5 (Madras) 
Field Company on the 1st October, 1920: it was disbanded and 
reconstituted with the then designation on the 23rd June, 1920, 
and was embodied for service with the Regular Army from the 
10th May, 1941, to October, 1946. 

The Calcutta and Presidency Battalion, which was formed on 
the 3rd February, 1863, as the Calcutta Rifle Corps, was re- 
constituted as the 1st Battalion, Calcutta Volunteer Rifles, on the 
24th March, 1898, and became the 5th Calcutta Battalion on the 
1st April, 1917, and the Calcutta Battalion on the 1st October, 
1920. *A’ Company was embodied for service with the Regular 
Army from the 7th June, 1941, to the 31st March, 1946. 

The Dehra Dun Contingent which had been formed on the 
24th July, 1071, as the Mussooric Volunteer Rifle Corps and the 
Thomason College Volunteer Rifle Corps, which was formed on 
the 19lh August, 1872, and the Mussooric Volunteer Reserve 
Corps, formed on the 13th August, 1889, were incorporated on the 
4th March, 1901. All these units became the 9th Mussooric 
Battalion on the 1st April, 1917, and were amalgamated with the 
Dehra Dun Detachment, U.P. Horse and the Meerut Detachment, 
No. 5 Company, M.G. Corps and reconstituted as the Dehra Dun 
Contingent on the 10th July, 1925. They were embodied for 
service with the Regular Army in January, 1942. 

The Bombay Battalion, which was raised as the Bombay 
Volunteer Rifle Corps on the I5th August, 1877, became the 15th 
Bombay Battalion on the 1st April, 1917. ‘A’ Company was 
embodied for service with the Regular Army from the 22nd March, 
1941, to the 31st March, 1946. 

The Nilgiri Malabar Battalion svas raised as the Nilgiri Volunteer 
Rifles on the 29th October, 1878. The Coimbatore Volunteer 
Corps was fanned on the 7th August, 1885, and incorporated on 



146 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COltitUNtTY 

the 4th January, 1892. The Malabar Volunteer Rifles was formed 
on the 14th August, 1885, from the Calicut and Tellicherry 
Volunteer Corps and was amalgamated as the 29th Nilgiri Malabar 
Battalion on the 1st April, 1917. ‘A’ Company was embodied for 
service with the Regular Army from the 31st May, 1941, to the 
31st May, 1946. 

The Hyderabad Rifles was formed as the Hyderabad Volunteer 
Rifle Corps on the 7th July, 1882, and became the 26th Hyderabad 
Rifles on the 1st April, 1917. ‘B’ Company was embodied with the 
Regular Army from July, 1945, to 1st August, 1946. 

The East Coast Battalion was raised as the Godavari Rifle 
Volunteers on the 9th June, 1885, and was amalgamated with the 
Vizagapatam Rifle Volunteers raised on the 10th October, 1885, 
to form the East Coast Rifle Volunteers on the 14th October, 1890, 
and became the East Coast Volunteer Rifles on the 14th October, 
1903, and the 38th East Coast Battalion on the 1st April, 1917. 
‘A’ Company was embodied for service with the Regular Army 
from the 31st May, 1941, to the 30th June, 1946. 

The Bangalore Contingent, which included the Bangalore 
Armoured Car Co. and the Bangalore Battalion, was embodied 
for service with the Regular Army from April, 1944, to the 1st 
June, 1946. 

The Madras Guards, which had a proud, historic record, was 
raised on the 2nd July, 1857, as the Madras Volunteer Guards, 
became the 1st Madras Guards on the 1st April, 1917, and No. 7 
platoon was embodied for service with the Regular Army on the 
25th May, 1940. The balance of the Unit was embodied on the 10th 
May, 1941, and the Guards were disbanded on the 31st May, 1946. 

From the point of view or continuity the Madras Guards was 
the oldest Corps in India. It was, I believe, the only Volunteer 
Force which had the honour of carrying the Queen’s colours. 
Madras City had reason to be grateful to the Madras Guards. 
During World War II Japanese ships had been sighted off the 
coast : there was a tremendous flap : most of the officials, led by 
the then British Governor, evacuated Madras : the Madras Guards 
alone stayed put. 

In December, 1947, I received an interesting letter from Col. 
Douglas Reid, the last Commandant of the Madras Guards, from 
his home, Green Gates, Holt, Norfolk. Col. Reid wrote, “I have 



WORLD WARS I AND II 


147 


just received the October number of your journal and write to tell 
you how much I have appreciated it. There is an air of realism, 
boldness, commonscme and uprightness coupled with self-sufficiency 
which was rather lacking in the Community in the past. I worked 
and hoped for this attitude in the years during the war when I 
commanded the Madras Guards. The great moment of our service 
was when Frank Anthony addressed the troops in the inner barrack 
square from the ancient staircase and visualised what has come to 
pass.” 

Compulsory enlistment in the Auxiliary Force was a precondi- 
tion for employment of Anglo-Indians in the Railways. The Rail- 
way Battalions formed the backbone of the Auxiliary Force. Apart 
from being called out to protect railway property against anon and 
looting by strikers the Auxiliary Force was also called out for military 
duty to quell communal riots. By doing duty as the second line of 
defence and auxiliary to the standing army many cror es were saved 
to the Indian exchequer each year. 

From 1928 the striking strength of the Auxiliary Force was at 
least 32,000. At least two-thirds of these were Anglo-Indians; the 
rest were the so-called Domiciled Europeans or Europeans. Even 
here the official British policy of imperial arrogance and discrimina- 
tion manifested itself. In spite of the preponderance of the Anglo- 
Indians only about 1 10 were given Commissions. The contrast was 
highlighted by a comparison with the Indian Territorial Force 
which was reorganised in 1927. In that Force every officer, except 
a Commandant and an Adjutant, was an Indian. 

The history of these Forces, which merged into the I.D.F. 
(The Indian Defence Force) and then the A.F.I. (The Auxiliary 
Force-India), is probably unique in the annals of Volunteer 
fighting forces. 



CHAPTER VHI 


MY GRIM TASK 


Final Betrayal 

M UCH of what follows is of an autobiographical nature. This, 
perhaps, is inevitable, because since 1942 the anxious, often 
grim, burden of finding a place for my Community in the New 
India has fallen upon me. 

Gidney’s work and achievements were synonymous with the posi- 
tion of the Community in India for a period of over 20 years. The 
news of Gidney’s death was flashed over All-India Radio on the 5th 
May, 1942. The Community was stunned. There was a tangible 
Community trauma. The question was repeatedly asked, ‘After 
Gidney what’. So greatly had Gidney towered over any other 
person purporting to speak for the Anglo-Indians, that the Commu- 
nity found it difficult to believe that it could produce, particularly 
at this critical juncture, a leader of sufficient capacity and vision 
who could achieve a position at all comparable with that which 
Gidney had secured in India’s public life. 

The Annual General Meetings of the All-India Anglo-Indian 
Association represent the focal point of Anglo-Indian public life. 
Anglo-Indian leaders and representatives from every part of the 
Country congregate to discuss the Community’s problems and to 
devise ways and means to promote its well-being. 

Gidney's Successor 

I entered public life at the rather early age of 26. A busy, practis- 
ing lawyer, I nevertheless took a deep interest in the affairs of my 
Community. I was nominated by the then Central Provinces 
Government to represent my Community on the local Municipal 
Corporation. At the age of 26 1 was elected President of the branch 
of the All-India Anglo-Indian Association at Jubbulpore which 
had one of the largest concentrations of the Community in the 
Country. That was in 1934. Because of my professional pre- 
occupations, I had not been able to attend the Annual General Meet- 



MT CMU TASK 


140 


ings or the Association. In January, 1912, Gidney visited my 
home town. Although I had met him often this was his first 
visit to the branch during my eight years’ tenure of office as 
the branch President . Before asking Sir Henry to address the 
crowded meeting, I made an introductory speech. ‘The Angto- 
Indian Review’ of February, 1912, reporting the meeting contained 
these strikingly prophetic words : “Sir Henry Gidney said that 
in all Ins 25 years’ political experience he liad never heard an 
Anglo-Indian speaker of the same ability. He conjured up a picture 
in which he could see that as the romance of Henry Gidney ends, 
the romance oF Frank Anthony begins." It was typical of Gidney’s 
irrepressible spirit that he regarded a hard, uphill, often thankless, 
task as a romance. Gidney insiste d that I should attend the Annual 
General Meeting to be held that year. For the first time, in March, 
1942, I attended such a meeting. At that meeting representatives 
of the Community from every part of India had gathered. Vital 
matters were discussed. I played a not negligible role in those dis- 
cussions. Barely two months later Gidney passed away. His 
successor was chosen by a process of election throughout the branches 
in India. There was a contest. As a result of the election, Gidney’s 
mantle fell on my shoulders. Gidney was 69 years of age when he 
died and, in many ways, had achieved an outstanding position in 
the public life or the Country. For a person 34 years of age, albeit 
a practising lawyer, the prospect of assuming Gidncy's responsibili- 
ties, in what was perhaps the mott critical period in the history of 
the Community, was not entirely reassuring. 

Gidney had not been too well for some lime and was, therefore, 
unable to tour the branches of the Association. Although the 
spokesman of numerically perhaps the smallest minority in India, 
the leader of the Community represents, from the territorial point of 
view, easily the largest constituency in India. In fact, the Anglo- 
Indian constituency is conterminous with the sub-continent. At that 
time the branches of the Association stretched from Karachi to 
Bombay and again from Multan to Trivandrum. 

The political portents were lairly clear to those who could read 
them and understand. I felt that time was running out. I was 
convinced that political steps towards Independence would not only 
be initiated, but perhaps finalised within the next few years. Fortu- 
nately, being a bachelor I had no family financial commitments. 



150 THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMJtUNTIT 

Abandoning my law practice, I undertook tours at a blistering pace. 
The result was reinvigorating, even electrifying, for the Association. 
A wonderful tonic effect surged through the whole organisation 
expressing itself in new branches, new membership everywhere. It 
was the Community’s heartening response to my call to mobilise 
for the fight for survival that would now face us. 

After my election to the leadership of the Association, I was nomi- 
nated by the Viceroy in August, 1942, as the Community’s sole re- 
presentative in what was then known as the Central Legislative 
Assembly. I was also nominated as a member of the National 
Defence Council which was presided over by the Viceroy and help- 
ed direct India's war effort. I remember rather vividly my first 
meeting with the Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow, as one of his guests at 
lunch. Lord Linlithgow, always a complete gentleman, was un- 
able, however, to suppress his surprise as I shook hands with him. 
He remarked, with due apology, that I looked like a boy. My 
personal reaction is not printable, but I hope that the record of the 
past two and a half decades trill show that in the fierce, tumul-, 
tuous testing times that crowded in on me from the very beginning 
the Community had not, indeed, sent a boy on a man’s errand. 

Clear Policy 

From the beginning I was very clear in my mind that the Commu- 
nity could no longer stand on two stools. It could no longer ex- 
press a political dichotomy. Making my first major address to the 
Community at the Annual General Meeting of the Bombay branch 
in September, 1942, I said to the Community, “We are Anglo- 
Indians by Community. Of that fact we have every reason to be 
proud. We have forged a history, in many ways notable, of which' 
any much larger community anywhere in the world could be justi- 
fiably proud. Let us cling and cling, tenaciously, to all that we 
hold dear, our language, our way of life and our distinctive culture. 
But let us always remember that we are Indians. The Community 
is Indian. It has always been Indian. Above all, it has an in- 
alienable Indian birthright. The more we love and are loyal to 
India, the more will India love and be loyal to us.” Thatstatcment 
was acclaimed by the leaders of India as some kind of a new gospel 
for the Community, but condemned by some of the older leaders of 
the Co mmuni ty as utterly heretical, as a gospel for ‘Hinduising’ the 



MT GMU TASK 


151 


Community. I regret to say that the political and, indeed, the 
mental arteries of some of these older leaders liad hardened along 
parochial, reactionary lines. There was a special flutter in the 
Association dovecots at Lahore. At the following Annual General 
Meeting there was an attempt to get me out of office unless 1 under- 
took to declare that our policies were not only pro-Govemmenc hut 
pro-British. I treated this suicidal myopia with the public whip- 
ping it deserved. I reminded the oppositionists of the perfervid de- 
claration of the good old Dr. Wallace of the high-sounding Imperial 
Anglo-Indian League that ‘Britishers we are and Britishers we will 
always remain’. The only reward for his exaggerated loyalty was 
the publicly expressed sarcasm of the arrogant Curzon. Fortunate- 
ly, I was able to mobilise the overwhelming majority of the leaders 
who had enough vision and imagination to reject the old absurdi- 
ties which would have meant extinction Tor the Community. I 
have never had occasion to deviate Trom that announcement in the 
past 2G years. It became, in fact, the greatest single instrument 
by which I was able to mollify not only thesuspidonbutill-eoncealed 
hostility of many of the prominent leaders. It became theinstru* 
icnt by which I was able ultimately to secure recognition and, 
indeed, salvation for the Community. 

The attitude of the successive Anglo-Indian representatives in 
the Central Legislature marked the evolution in the psychological 
attitude of the Community. Before Gidney the Community’s re- 
presentatives were an avowed appendage of the European Group 
in the Central Legislature. Pathetically, sometimes ludicrously, 
they hung on to the political coat-tails of the European Group. 
They seldom, ir ever, spoke in the House and always voted with the 
European Group. Gidney also joined the European Group. But 
Gidney’s was not only an independent but a rebellious spirit. In 
spite of the fact that he towered in ability over most of his colleagues 
in the European Group, the Clive Street mentality, which was an 
incurable affliction of the European business community in Calcutta, 
dominated the Group. That mentality made even Gidney the 
object of ill-concealcd condescension. Gidney rebelled and wisely 
left the Group. 

kVhen I entered the Legislative Assembly, I had no intention of 
joining the European Group. Gidney’s almost last tragic cry to the 
Community, shortly before he died, rang constantly in my ears. 



152 


THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITT 


The Community’s betrayal by the Cripps Mission, the denial of 
recognition of the Community in the Cripps’ formula of 1942, had 
provoked what was almost Gidney’s death cry, “The Community 
has been betrayed by the British at the altar of political expediency.” 
While I hoped for the best 1 realised that in this contcxe of the 
betrayal of the Community, in the context of a history of constant, 
recurring betrayals, 1 dared not place its lire in the basket of British 
promises. And I was not reassured by what I saw and had to fight 
increasingly. 

Discrimination Attacked 

In and outside the House I lost no opportunity of attacking the 
official policy of discrimination. After my first speech on the Fin- 
ance Bill, the Government Whip approached me to vote with the 
Government. It was taken for granted that as a nominated member 
I would vote with the Government. I expressed my inability to 
do so, because of the continuing policy of rank discrimination against 
the Anglo-Indians. With ill-concealed horror on his face the 
Government Whip asked me to go into the lobby to meet the 
Secretary of the Legislative Assembly — a good Secretary but a dyed- 
in-the-wool representative of reactionary British officialdom. When 
I told him that 1 had no intention of voting with the Government 
on the Finance Bill, he was dumbfounded. His silence expressed 
more eloquently than any words that he regarded my attitude, not 
only as a nominated member but as the Anglo-Indian representative, 
as rank political heresy. I may mention here that my continuing 
criticism of Government policy led ultimately to my being summon- 
ed by the Viceroy. The Viceroy informed me that my record of 
speaking and voting was such that Government was reluctant to 
renominate me. I had committed what was regarded by British 
officialdom as an unpardonable political crime. But I was able 
to say to the Viceroy that I was there in a completely representative 
capacity and that when I spoke, I spoke with the authority of that 
representative capacity. Be it said to his credit that at least the 
Viceroy had the sporting sense to recognise my representative capa- 
city and to renominate me. 

That has been my strength throughout my public life, the strength 
drawn from the strength of the Association which is a uniquely 
representative body. No person without the strength of his com- 



MT CRW TASK 


153 


munity behind Mm, no pcreon depending for hi, "T”"' 1 ™ °" 
Covernmen, charity dared to say what I luve nud ondeonunue m 
say. The measure of that strength, drawn fsom .he Anoeo.»n. 
ha, been reflected down to today in the nnnnesl speeu.de ha, a, a 
nominated member I si. no, only in the Opposttton Mimthefron, 
rank of the Opposition in India’s Parliament. Beeause of the 
strength of the Association only a deliberately dUhonm, &,vent- 
ment could refme to nominate in leader to represent the Comma 

”spSto“' Finance Hill in Man*, 1943, I ^gared the 
Government for the dberimination which eontmuedto pracme 
again,, the Community. Among other thing, 1 said, The 
amhorities, ir anything, are today pnsetising this d-tcr.tntnWon m a 
flagrant way. My hon’ble friend, do no, reahse -he nature 
discrimination. They are no, aware of the nature oTte dtflerenua 
scales ofpay and allowances that are offered to Etirepean Comtms 
sioned Offices on the one hand and Indian Oommmmnrf Olfleere 
on the other. This i, a matter which affects us all ,n th • Corner “ 
whichever community we may happen to be on S- riractice- 

flagrant racial discrimination translated into eco 
Members are no, aware .ha, a married Captain on 
scales gets Rs. 775/. as against Rs. 610/- drawn by an Indian Com 
missioned Officer: a Major gen Rs. 1 105/- “ a f ‘"“’£",450 . 
drawn b, an Indian Commissioned Officer : a Lt. Col. get, Rs. 1450 
as again,, 1105/. drawn by his Indian counterpart. Andthuducr. 
mination become, more and more marked as the seniority 
I, there any jusUT, cation for this discrimination^ Economically 
there U no justification, morally, it is indefensi e. , _ 

“I make this assertion on die floor of this House andl ^ 'W 
the military authorities to investigate my assertion. e - 

tha, whatT say is true. I say that ninety-nine and mu se-,e„. urf 
the so-called British Emergency Commissioned Offices , h 
domiciled in this country are Anglo-Indians. But b 
choose, wittingly or unwittingly, to make a fa se ec a 
are recruited a, Europeans: without any mvesugat ion wl atew :r 
the miliutry authorities give them a different, al 
pay. The utter irouy of this poshiou is 
i know or not one but several Anglo-Indian fam.hes 
lesser-educated sons, because of iheir lack of cduca.tou, have made 



154 THE STORT OF THE ANCLO-UTOIAN COlOfONITT 

a false declaration. The military authorities have given them the 
enhanced European Commissioned Officers’ scales of pay. The 
better-educated sons have got the reduced scales of pay because they 
have refused to deny their parentage or their Community. The 
whole position is thoroughly immoral. The British authorities, 
today, as they have done in the past, are placing a premium on dis- 
honesty and cheating. If a man lies and makes a false declaration, 
they pay him more : if a man has the courage of his convictions, they 
penalise him by giving him a lower wage. I am not asking Govern- 
ment to lower the wage of the British Emergency Commissioned 
Officer, but I do ask them to increase the level of income and allow- 
ances of the Indian Commissioned Officer. As I have said, ninety- 
nine and nine-tenths of the British Emergency Commissioned 
Officers who are domiciled in India are Anglo-Indians. They are 
of Asiatic domicile. They are drawn from the same cultural and 
economic stratum as the Indian Commissioned Officer. What 
possible justification, economic or moral, can there be to differentiate 
in this matter of pay unless it be on obviously communal and racial 
grounds? I do not blame these persons so much for making these 
false declarations. I blame much more your Government policy 
which places a premium on racial discrimination, which offers a mess 
of pottage 4o the man who is prepared to deny his Community. 
Most men have their price.” 

Continuing I said, "It is this policy which has adversely affected 
and emasculated the Anglo-Indian Community. It has enabled 
the British historian to filch the names of Anglo-Indians and falsely 
to include them in the pages of British achievement. In spite of the 
fact that in this War, as in the last, 80% of the available manpower 
of my Community is serving in the different theatres, this discrimina- 
tion is continuing unchecked. Over 10,000 Anglo-Indians are 
serving, today, in every theatre of War : 20,000 are in the various 
Auxiliary Forces. My Hon’ble friend Sir Edward Benthall, the 
Minister for War Transport, should acknowledge the invaluable 
service rendered by Anglo-Indian Railwaymcn, who form the pre- 
dominant part of the Auxiliary Force, in preserving the stability and 
strength of the Railway Administration. Yet in spite of these 
services the allowances granted to the Auxiliary Force have been 
recently decreased. There are about 4000 Anglo-Indian lads with 
the Royal Air Force in Britain. Yet the Anglo-Indians have 



155 


Ropl Air Force rn In ^% Vdtaimination. The 

England, have e^ped ta< shemseivrs 

r^Tnumir o^lan “hrengh. down 
DysonTthe grandson of a former Anglo-Indian leader, 

6 Italian planes in 15 minutes.’ ■ , . ihe many thou- 

»I wonder what the Conntry would do without ne ^ 
sands of Anglo-Indian girls who commute the N S^ ^ ^ 
Even as regarf. our wornen thts pohey^d,^ ^ „ r lhc 

It is with the deepest regret that .. j the Women's 

House to the unfortunate position that presads di 

Auxiliary Corps. I have spoken to many 

girls on this subject. I have eeeewedt e ^ lng ,o commu- 

that ranting and promotion ate deterntmed ucora 5 
nity. in spite of the fact to 

ing majority of the personnel of the Corp , been 

tnow how many of them hold -"T “'“^d ,o^ha. pmmotions 
told by every Anglo-Indian girl 1 have ^ ^ joined by 
to warrant officer and commissioned rharactC r but by other 

education, specialised knowledge^abi ity Corps, 

and less worthy considerations. There are many 

who are most highly qualified, who wi ^ Anglo-Indians, 

officer rank because their only crime ** c^L, nf social antecc- 

There are many Anglo-Indian g ,rI f' v, ‘ * c ^ refuse t0 do so 
dents who are prepared to join the rps. todav. who 

because of this discrimination. There arc u „ til the 

are eager to do their bit bat decline to jom this service unt 

conditions arc changed.” . Tn j; a „ Army Ordnance 

•■The same is the stoty with regard to the Ind an Amy ^ ^ 

nniu. Anglo-Indians are no longer certain o^ Briib ^ olhCT Ranks 
technical officer says that they are el gt because they 

and then another technical officer isqua s have even 

declare themselves as Anglo-Indians. Some a re 

deliberately been asked .o make a false dec! »»>■“ Ad- 

Europeans' I have brought these matters »*'” o1 

jutant-General. But he has maintainrd a guilty stlence. 



156 THE STORY OP THE ANCEO- INDIAN COMMUNITY 

conclusion that I can draw from this silence is that he is at least 
conniving at the muddle-headedness and discrimination that is being 
practised by his underlings.” 

I concluded my speech with these words, “Today there are many 
thousands of Anglo-Indian men and women who are serving in the 
various theatres of War. Today, not only the sons of India and 
Britain but the daughters of India and Britain arc serving the same 
cause, fighting the same fight. Is it too much to expect from Govern- 
ment to give up this policy of discrimination? Is it too much to 
expect that from the present crucible of suffering and blood, equal 
sacrifice and equal heroism, equality of treatment in India irrespec- 
tive of caste or creed or community Mill emerge triumphant?” 

I fought similar battles in the National Defence Council, presided 
over by the then Viceroy, Lord Wavell. My Indian colleagues in 
the Defence Council were shocked when I told them that although 
about 80% of the Women’s Auxiliary Corps was Anglo-Indian of 
49 senior Commanders only one was an Anglo-Indian. I 
had for some time in the Central Legislature attacked the differential 
scales as between the so-called European and Indian Commissioned 
Officers. I remember how Wavell tried to justify it on the 
ground of the British officers having to maintain two establishments 
and the necessary higher needs of the British Commissioned Officers. 
How amused and happy were my Indian colleagues and how equally 
debunked and unhappy was Wavell when I produced a list of a 
number of so-called European Commissioned Officers on the one 
side and Indian Commissioned Officers on the other. In one list 
were the Anglo-Indians, Indian Commissioned Officers; in the other 
list were their brothers. One list was of those who refused to deny 
their parentage and their Community and the other was of renegades, 
rejecting their parentage and their Community, with a 
financial premium being placed on their renegadism. No longer 
could the Government justify differential emoluments between 
brothers. Ultimately not only the Anglo-Indians but officers of all 
communities were the beneficiaries. The scales were equated. 

nvisaging the Initiation of steps by the British Government for 
handing over power, I prepared, in October, 19 M, a White Paper 
or presentation to the British Government and Members of the 
British Parliament. I also prepared a White Paper for presenta- 
tion to the leaders of the Country. In 1914 when the Gandhi- 



vnr GRIM TASK 


157 


Jinnah tails were in the offing, I watched the developments with 
understandable anxiety. After the tails failed, through The Review’, 
the journal of the All-India Anglo-Indian Association, I 
addressed the Community and defined what should be our attitude 
towards Jinnah’i Pakistan and the two-nation theory. I under- 
lined the fact that vivisection of the Country would be injurious not 
only to the Anglo-Indian Community, but more particularly to the 
other minorities and that h would not solve any of the minority 
problems. 

The Sapru Committee 

Early in 1945 what was known as the Sapru Conciliation Commit- 
tee was formed. Its Chairman was Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, a former 
Law Member to the Government of India, who had achieved a 
special position of eminence not only as a lawyer but in public life. 
He commanded universal respect and confidence. All important 
elements in the Country were represented on the Committee, wlucli 
had the blessings of the majority party. I believe that the invita- 
tion to me was a gesture to the policies that I had first announced 
and pursued through the Association. 

I submitted a memorandum on behalf of the Community to t e 
Sapru Conciliation Commillf,. I opposed the idea of Partiuon. 
That part of my memorandum proved to be tragically P r0 P cue. 
I stated, “I am in the completest sympathy with the legitimate 
claims of the different minorities. I also feci that everything 
reasonable should be done to allay misgivings on the part ot 
different minorities. I am, however, emphatically of the opinion 
that the concession of the Muslim League claim to Pakistan 
would not only not solve the minorities’ problems but wou a o 
be fatal to the best interests of the Mother Country. Briefly my 
reasons for being unable to agree to the Muslim League claim or 
Pakistan are: . _ 

“(1) Under the C.R. formula, Pakistan will only take in 17 out 
or 30 Districts in the Punjab and 16 out of 28 Districts in Bengal in 
addition to Baluchistan, the North Western Frontier Province and 
Sind: a large part of Bengal and Assam as a whole would not tall 
within Pakistan. Even under the most sweeping claims made Dy 
the Muslim League, Pakistan will include, presumably, the whole 
of the Punjab and Bengal together with Baluchistan, the North 



158 THE STORY OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COitMUNTIT 

Western Frontier Province, Sind and Assam. Even under this 
latter claim, Pakistan will comprise a total Muslim population of 
55.60 millions leaving 23.74 millions of Muslims as minorities in 
the various Provinces in Hindustan. Further, there would be about 
34.1 millions of Hindus, 3.89 millions of Sikhs and 3.2 millions 
of others as minorities in Pakistan. The minorities’ problem after 
the division of India would be as acute, perhaps much more acute, 
in both Pakistan and Hindustan than it is today.” 

“(2) The Muslim League claim would lead to the Balkanising 
of India. A potentially powerful India will be emasculated as an 
international power 

"(3) The analogy of Europe does not apply, as India, unlike 
Europe, is a geographical entity undivided by real physical barriers 
such as are to be found in Europe. Further, in spite of differences, 
Indians have achieved a basic ethnic and cultural unity.” 

“(4) The division of India svill lead to the probability, if not the 
certainty, of war between Hindustan and Pakistan and to the pro- 
pagation of narrow and fanatical economic and political ideologies.” 

When the Committee’s Report was published, it was regarded as 
one of the most important constitutional documents in the political 
evolution of the Country. It took its place with the Poona Pact 
and the Motilal Nehru Report. The Sapru Conciliation Committee 
Report was or special significance as it was endorsed by most or the 
leaders and parties in India and more especially by the Congress 
Party. For the Community the findings of the Sapru Conciliation 
Committee contrasted vividly with those of the Motilal Nehru Re- 
port. The Community had not been invited to participate in the 
framing of the Motilal Nehru Committee Report which was drawn 
up in Gidney’s time. In fact, the Motilal Nehru Report had con- 
signed the Community to oblivion. Three decisions of the Sapru 
Conciliation Committee Report affected the Anglo-Indian Commu- 
nity vitally. 

(1) In the first place while the Cripps’ proposals, of 1942, had 
not given the Community a single representative in the 
Constitution-making body, the Sapru Conciliation Com- 
mittee, while recommending that the Cripps’ proposals 
regarding the constitution should be accepted, also re- 
commended that at least 2 representatives of the Anglo- 



VT GIUM TASK 


159 


Indian Community should find a place in that body. 

<2) So far as the Union Legislature was concerned, the Com- 
munity was given recognition as a separate and definite 
entity : the other small minorities such as the Parsecs and 
Europeans were all lumped together by the Conciliation 
Committee for the purpose of representation in the Union 
Legislature. 

(3) The most vital achievement was the recognition by the 
Conciliation Committee of the right of the Anglo-Indian 
Community to a definite place in the Union Cabinet. 
Never before was this position recognised. 

Unaided we had forged an Indian instrument of recognition. 

The Hon’ble Dr. M.R.Jayakar, formerly a Member of the Judicial 
Committee of the Privy Council, an ex-Judge of the Bombay High 
Court, and one of the most distinguished members of the Sapru 
Conciliation Committee, was good enough to send me a letter 
appreciating my work. He wrote, 

“If I may make a personal reference in this matter, may I say that 
before the Sapru Committee you fought your case very well with 
firmness not devoid of courtesy and persuasion. It svas a con Wist 
to the way the representatives of some other minorities fought their 
case. I had formed some idea of your methods of work from rea 
ing the debates in the Legislative Assembly, but could never imagine 
that your gifts could make you so irresistible an advocate o your 
community’s claims." 

An Interlude— Verdict On A Mental Guttersnipe 

The April, 1945, number of the journal or the Association re- 
produced my speech in the Central Legislature on Beverley Nichols 
book ‘Verdict on India’. Commenting on the speech the special 
representative of the Hindustan Times of New Delhi wrote, 

“Mr. Frank Anthony entertained the House with a brilliant 
denunciation of Beverley Nichols. He called the author ot 
‘Verdict on India’ a ‘mental guttersnipe’ and attribut c 
deliberate distortion and vilification of India to smug Britis racia 
arrogance. His retort to Mr. Nichols’ remarks about S°* 
Indians being half- cas tes was that the British were the most hy n iz 
ed nation in the world.” 



160 THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COUSIUNnY 

“But the most exciting moment in his speech was when Sir Sultan 
Ahmed, Information Member, interrupted him to deny that the 
Government of India had anything to do with the author of this 
shameful book. The whole Opposition seemed to jump to its feet to 
challenge Sir Sultan. Nichols had been chaperoned throughout 
his stay in Madras by the National War Front leader and Mr. K.C. 
Neogy remarked that Dr. Spears of the Information Department 
had been the friend and philosopher of Mr. Nichols. He added 
that Nichols’ book would not have been published in India with 
such promptness but for the paper specially supplied by the Govern- 
ment of India. Cries of ‘Shame, Shame’ rang from the Opposition 
benches and Sir Sultan Ahmed discreetly kept silent, hanging his 
head to let the storm pass.” 

The special correspondent of the Indian Nation commenting on 
my speech wrote, 

“The best speech of the day, however, was made by the Anglo- 
Indian representative Mr. Frank Anthony, whose verdict on 
Beverley Nichols was a masterpiece or satire, sarcasm and cynicism. 
Mr. Anthony’s speech svas also brightened by passages of great 
eloquence which was appreciated by all sections of the House. 
Indeed, Sir Sultan Ahmed appeared to cheer Mr. Anthony more 
often than anybody else.” 

In my speech I addressed the European Group as a proud half- 
caste speaking not only to half-castes but to polygenetics. Reply- 
ing to me the leader of the European Group, Sir Henry Richard- 
son, spoke as one polygenetic to another! 

N.M. Jog, the well-known Bombay journalist, replied to Beverley 
Nichols in his book entitled ‘Judge or Judas’. A whole chapter in 
the book was a reproduction of my speech. 

The Simla Conference 

A press release of the 10th June, 1945, indicated the exclusion of 
the Community from the proposed Simla Conference to be convened 
by the Viceroy. I was on a summer vacation at the time. I i®' 
mediately wired and wrote to the Viceroy protesting against this 
exclusion and stating our case. I then sought an interview with 
Lord Wavell and discussed the position with him on the 21st June. 
In cflect, the Viceroy told me that if the Conference was to deal 
with general constitutional matters, the Community would have 



MT CW« TASK 

been represented, but at the disnraion, «m to be confined to the 
Suing of an interim Executive Council, lli. “*{“* a 

fell that owing to the numerical xmallno of the 
separate place could not be given to tt. As some l.nd of^opthe 
Viceroy mentioned that nan the Indian Chmt.ans, who were about 
7 million strong a. compared with about 250,000 A "S ^ 
had no. been invited to the Conference : the Parscrn also who .were 
or the same strength a, the Anglo-Indian, had no, been mvUed^ I 
replied that the Sikh, who were smaller m number than he nd an 
Christians had been invited, the moral bong that unlike the W» 
Christians the Sikhs were more united and also more lr °“ 
politically. I was no, satisfied by the Viceroy . reply and ..sued a 
£c«s statement. I underlined that the Common,, y reccved the 
nesvs of it. seclusion with shocked surprise and bitter d '“PP“" 
men,. I pointed out that the strength of the 
the proposed Executive Council was fixe as , would 

appear to be a desirable number and no reamnabl. P“ ly J™“ 
object to the smaller minorities being accorded 2 scab between 

"Tmong other things I said in my statement, "It has become » 
ventional for the British authorities ,0 regard the A "S l °- , " d ‘ a " “ „„ 
inveterate subordinate. Because we have not a r P ^ 

in the Central Government in the past, it is sought to be argu 
we am no, entitled to 1, now. Another argument 
' jusUSed by political theory or justice is that we are too .nun a 
Community, numerically, to be granted a sea, in the 00'"™’°’ ’ 
Continuing I mid, "If Hu Majesty’s Government had dmnd, 
repay in deb, to the Community, i, could no. only have minted a 
representative or the Community, but laid down that the Corn™ 
nity shall be granted a place in the Executive P>"n'.l and I am 
certain that not a single party except perhapi t e m ^ 
would have made the slightest objection. Bu P° .. 

essentially been inspired by opportunism ^bic see ° 
vocal or [he wealthy." Continuing, I said, “I cannot help f eeling 
lhat the exclusion of the smaller commumues was a concess 
Muslim League policy. I. was .lie origiual po.iuon ofdm Mudnn 
League ro Sim parity of represen.adon a. between the Muktox 
on the one hand and all the communities on the other. S 
Wavell proposals predicated parity as between Muslims and Hindus 



104 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

only, the League endeavoured to secure the assurance that the 
smaller minorities would not get weightage or recognition in the 
Executive Council. Their plea to the Viceroy was that if the smaller 
minorities also received representation, the Muslim League would 
on!y get l/3rd of the total representation. It is, indeed, unfortunate 
that the League policy should translate itself into resistance to the 
claims of the smaller minorities.” I further stated, “It is known on 
good authority that the Congress are not opposed to a place being 
granted to the Anglo-Indian Community on the Executive Council. 
The Sikhs and the Indian Christians are also in favour of the Anglo- 
* tr- Ti \t * 10 * SCat ’ * l * ** , * 1C more unfortunate, therefore, 

that His Majesty’s Government did not think it fit to try and repay, 
part, ally, ,„eparab]e dcbt ^ Community by „ framing 
proposal, a, to mure a scat to the Anglo-Indians on the Viceroy's 
&ccuttvc Council. II anyone owed us an obligation to grant us 
thn place, ,t,,as Hi, Majesty's Government.” 

I ““laded, “The obvious lesson which sve are compelled to drasv 
” S “" U °>aferenee is that ,he British Governmenl was not 

S Ir ^ 50 OUt °’ a hai i'» breadth to do anything to 
assist the Community.” 

I ,h ' 3 ' d J 111 !' 1945 , 1 “nt a cable ,o Ihe Secretary ofState for 
Indt, which among other things stated, “Exclusion horn the Simla 

Conference bitter blow and incomprehensible because of statu, of 
Connnumty recogmsed by Indian leadets." Continuing, I said 
e ’ I j quesl ^‘ s Majesty’s Government not to deny us 
cZJtn ■ “ *™ P" 9 "" 1 brant. Sapru Conciliation 

of Ute Co'™^To”a f In,i 'a» recognised the right 

n r n „. woe. ■ J - a seat m ,flc Central Government because 
or oue recognued tmpoeunee and service, to die Counhy. Sapru 
CoQvrf-i'fp* 1 !! 3 * n l ° rna j orit >' of Indian parties including the 
S3 Z"* l,i, ° r >' “ ,d 1"““' ™ <«*> entitle the 

“,"P™d«inn on the Executive Council." Conti- 
mai ntain'd'Ad C . r '- ad> i4ui ' l; ary Forte drawn from Community 
nrntnunned Admm„„,,i 0 „ in two World Ware. Railway, would 

nearlv 't'i ^ ut Community’s effort. Anglo-Indians 

Srce ° f °“ c ' r ^ Air 

manv hnnH ^ ? pet Cem of Indian Navy and 

more to War fr ° ArTny ' Anglo-Indian women contributed 
more to War effort than all the women of all other communities 



WT GRIM TASK 


163 


nut together. Anglo-Indian sen-ices during Campaign in Burma 
recognised epic’.” The cable went on, •‘Representation on Execu- 
tive Council vital to protect economy which dependent on Central 
Services. Greater right to seat than numerically larger communi- 
ties whose services to the State and war eHbrt nothing like ours. 
If Hb Majesty’s Government denies us place "hich is recognised 
by Indians will be tragic requital for present and past services. 

In the meantime there svas landslide victory for the Labour 
Party in the British General Elections. . 

In September, 1915, Wavell announced a plan for consulting 
the opinion of Indian leaders and then forming the Constituent 
Assembly. The formula was s-ague and I was unable to secure from 
the Viceroy any clarification or assurance that the Community would 
be Invited to those consultations. I was not prepared for a repeti- 
tion of the Simla Conference betrayal. I convrntd an emergent 
meeting of my Governing Body and placed before them certain 
stark and even unpleitant facts. I pointed out that one of th 
greatest obstacles the Community had always to face an ig 
not only the ignorance but, above all, the prejudice o c 
British civilians in India towards the Anglo-Indians. The Indian 
leaden had always been more ready to accept our case. Sub- 
stantial proof waa given by the Sapm Conciliation Commmee 1 
felt that if we were to enlist the support of the Until e 

then we could only enlist it through the British m Britain. I punted 
out to the Governing Body that it was the Union at home who had 
shown some appreciation of the Community s services. re 
them of what had happened in respect of the sa cguards gran 
u, under the Government of India Act, 1935. When the 1935 M 
was formulated, the British Indian Government 
to accept our plea for statutory protection. It was only t g 
the intervention of politicians in the British Par lamen 
position had been ultimately secured. 

London Committee 

The Congress maintained the India League im Lon ' 

permanent propaganda medium on their bch - . r j 

League had fairly recently set up their own organisation in g ^ 


At that time 
in The Review’ 


tad fairly recently set up their own organs—* o 
time I wrote words which proved to be prophetic. I said 
Review’, “I look further ahead- It « my opinion that the 



164 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

the Constituent Assembly will not meet. The Labour Government, 
in view of its repeated promises to India, cannot afford to stand still 
with regard to the Indian question. It is my opinion that even 
after the constituent body fails to meet, His Majesty’s Government 
will probably propose a new Constitution for India. It is not un- 
likely that the outlines of this constitution have already been con- 
sidered. Under these circumstances unless His Majesty’s Govern- 
ment is made fully aware of the rights of the Anglo-Indian Commu- 
nity, this Constitution will probably overlook our whole position 
and will result in our political and consequently economic extinc- 
tion.” 

I arrived in England at the end of October, 1945. My experience 
in the U.K. confirmed my worst fears. I found that the War had 
created a complete void so far as the Community was concerned. 
The old friends of the Community, such as Lord Lloyd, Lt. Gen. 
MacMunn, Sir Reginald Craddock, Col. Wedge wood, M.P. 
were dead. Others had retired from public life. At the begin- 
ning I was confronted with a dense atmosphere of sheer ignorance 
concerning the Community. The process of trying to make new 
contacts and finding fresh friends was not only difficult but almost 
heart-breaking. My first contacts were with some of my former 
colleagues at the English bar who had been students with me at the 
Inner Temple, such as Quintin Hogg. They were then members 
of Parliament. From my conversation with them I was convinced 
that Indian affairs and, above all, the affairs of the Anglo-Indian 
Community held no interest for them. I then spent practically 
all my time in the House of Commons. I listened to the debates 
and formed my own impressions as to who were the most active 
members with regard to India. In fact, I found that Indian affairs 
attracted comparatively very little interest in Britain. If the lead* 
ing papers carried four lines of news with regard to India, it repre- 
sented a great deal of interest. The people in India were not 
aware of the general blackout of Indian news in the English 
papers and the almost complete lack of interest in Indian affairs. 
Britain was preoccupied with her own formidable domestic 
problems and also with international issues. I then set about 
making personal contacts, I met and ultimately developed 
cordial relations with Arthur Henderson who was then the Under- 
secretary of State for India. Sir David Montcath was another 



UT GRW TASK 


165 


person with whom I became friendly; be was the head of the Civil 
Service and permanent Under*Secretary of State for India. 

During my conversations in London with the leaders of the 
Labour Part) - and more especially with Arthur Henderson, I was 
given the impression that the Labour Cabinet, while sympathetic to- 
wards the Anglo-Indians, was convinced that the Community would 
not be recognised in the New India. Arthur Henderson told me 
he felt that neither the Anglo-Indians nor the Europeans would 
get recognition. I told him that this might happen to the Euro- 
peans only because of the myopic policies which had been dominat- 
ed by the Clive Street representatives. Had Europeans like Sir 
Frederick James, who understood Indian psychology and conditions 
better than either the British officials or the European commerical 
community, been allowed to direct European politics, the attitude 
in India might have been very different. I told Arthur Hender- 
son that so far as the Anglo-Indian Community was concerned, I 
felt that my nationalist policies, oAen bitterly criticised by un- 
informed members of my own Community and misunderstood by the 
British officials, would perhaps stand us in good stead with the 
Indian leaden. 

Eventually I met and bad long discussions with Lord Pethidt 
Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, and Sir Stafford Cripps. 
I addressed both Winston Churchill and Attlee. Churchill 
specially deputed Mr. Richard Austin Butler to meet me and dis- 
cuss the position of the Community. I was fortunate in Churchill’s 
choice. By a coincidence RAB Butler had been bom in Madhya 
Pradesh (then the Central Provinces) my home State, when his 
father was the Governor of that Province. Over drinks in the House 
of Commons I discussed with him at considerable length the whole 
position of the Community. I found in him not only a sympathetic 
listener who knew a good deal about the Community but one who 
was prepared to use his influence on our behalf. He told me that, if 
necessary, he would raise the question of the position of the Commu- 
nity in the House of Commons when he considered it appropriate. 
The other leading members of the Conservative Party who I met 
were Col. Oliver Stanley, M.P., Sir Stanley Reed, M.P., Deputy 
Chairman of the India Committee of the Conservative Party, and 
Lord John Hope, Secretary of the India Committee of the Con- 
servative Party. 



166 THE STORE 0? THE ANCtO-INDIAN COMMUNITT 

I realised, however, that it was vital that I should make contacts 
with members of the Labour Government. Hitherto all our con- 
tacts had been with the Conservative Party. Some of those whom 
I met and who assisted me were Reginald Sorensen, Tom Smith 
and Harold task!. 1 was surprised by the knowledge that Harold 
Laski had not only of Indian affairs but also of the Community. He 
mentioned that he had been gratified by my speeches in the Central 
Assembly. He felt that the British Government had dealt shabbi- 
ly with the Community. 

Through these members I was able to address the Common- 
wealth Group of the Labour Party in the House of Commons which 
consisted of over 150 M.Ps. Among the most interested members 
of this group was Major Woodrow Wyatt, M.P., and the Earl of 
Listowcl, a member of the Government who was formerly Under- 
secretary of State for India and later Secretary of State for India. 
Attlee was in the United States, but I wrote to him on several 
occasions and he sent me three personal letters, mentioning that he 
had asked for a very full report on my conversations with the India 
Office and that he had studied my letters setting out the position 
of the Community not only with considerable interest but with 
sympathy. 

In the few weeks that I was in London, I also met several persons 
outside Parliament who I felt might be useful to me in my work. 
I decided to try and establish a Liaison Committee of the All- 
India Anglo-Indian Association in London. I was largely helped 
by a grand old man who was at that time 04 years of ago. He was 
Bishop Eyre Chatterton. By a happy coincidence he had confirm- 
ed me when he was the Bishop of Nagpur. I found in him an 
ardent and dauntless champion of the Anglo-Indians. He had 
written several pamphlets on the Community. He was responsi- 
ble for the inauguration of the fund to help Anglo-Indian Educa- 
tion, and secured the support for this purpose of the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, Lord Linlithgow and others. I believe he raised about 
£ 100,000 to assist Anglo-Indian Education. He told me that the 
collections would have been much larger but for the sudden out- 
break of the War. 

Ultimately, I was able to set up an influential London Committee 
of the Association consisting of the following members. Sir Harry 
Haig, a former Governor of the U.P., was the President', the Secre- 



MY GRIM TASK 


167 


tary was Eric Pound, an Anglo-Indian, whose family had settled in 
England, and who was working in a responsible position in India 
House. The other members were, 


Lord Hatley, 

Dr, Phillip Lloyd, 

Bishop Eyre Chat- 
lerton, 

Sir Geoffrey Clarke, 


Sir Frank Brown, 


Bishop of St. Albans who had been Bishop of 

Matulipatam in India. 

who was Bishop of Nagpur when he was in 

India. 

one of the most influential businessmen of the 
City of London and who had recently been 
President of the London Chamber of Com- 
merce. 

a member of the editorial staff of the London 
Times. 


Sir Stanley Reed, M.P., 

Major Woodrow Wyatt, M.P., 
and Miss M. Tyrwhitt-Drakc. 


Eric Pound was, in fact, the only Anglo-Indian on this Com- 
mittee. 

I lost no opportunity of publicising the case of the Community in 
London and received friendly editorial comment from the London 
Times. 


Association Captures Every Seal 
I returned to India on the 7th December, 1945, and immediately 
plunged into Association and Community work which, in the 
Context of impending events, proved decisive. At that time the 
Community had reserved seats in the Provincial Assemblies, to be 
filled by election in the Community. Elections to these Assemblies 
were to take place early in 1946. I realised that on the result of 
these elections would depend the character and ability of our re- 
presentative in the Constituent Assembly, if we were granted repre- 
sentation. I repeatedly addressed the Community through our 
journal that it was of vital importance for Anglo-Indians through- 
out the Country to vote for the candidates put up by the All-India 
Anglo-Indian Association. I pointed out that the Community 
owed its position in the Country entirely to the Association. Among 
other things I said, “In the event of a Constituent Assembly 



168 THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

meeting, the representatives of the Anglo-Indian Community will be 
elected by our 12 provincial representatives.” I further said, “It 
is absolutely vital that in the future we have a co-ordinated policy 
throughout the Country.” 

The chapter on Gidney’s work shows how he had largely forged 
unity in place of disunity and had brought the different Anglo- 
Indian Associations under the banner of the All-India body. Only 
one organisation in the South continued to stay out, to plough a lon- 
ely, dissident and completely ineffective furrow. Its claims were based 
on its alleged ancient character and little else. Throughout Gidney’s 
struggle and achievements for the Community it had not helped 
and, indeed, could not help. It lost no opportunity, however, to 
attempt to stab Gidney in the back. The same policy was conti- 
nued after I assumed Gidney’s place. In all the critical phases 
through which the Community passed, it never raised its voice. But 
it came to my notice that, furtively, whenever a memorandum was 
submitted by Gidney or me a dissident note would be struck by 
this body. 

Quite frankly, I could not understand Gidney’s attitude towards 
this dissident but ineffective organisation which could only act in a 
manner subversive of the Community’s best interests. Gidney had 
offered them every conceivable consideration to come in and join 
the All-India Body, but petty, parochial considerations prevailed. 
I also made every conceivable gesture, but I found that parochial 
interests always took precedence to the larger interests of the 
Community. Gidney had adopted an attitude of non-intervention 
in the case of certain dissidents. The results had not been happy 
for the Community. In Bengal there was the demoralising if not 
degrading spectacle of the Anglo-Indian representatives going into 
opposite lobbies and often speaking against one another. 

I realised that the very existence of the Community now depend- 
ed entirely on the All-India Body sweeping the dissidents out of 
existence. I also knew that 99% of the Community were, in fact 
and in spirit, behind the AJl-India Body. From the 11th January, 
1946, I undertook a lightning tour of our branches in the South. 
I took the buttons completely off the foils with regard to the candi- 
dates put up by the so-called South India Association. I pointed 
out that they had never been able to lift a finger to achieve any- 
thing on behalf of the Community. All that they had done from. 



UT C*!U TASK 


ICO 


time to time was to seek to undermine the position of the only 
organisation and its head to whom the Community, including the 
Community in South India, owed everything. I mentionet t t 
while I wu pleading the cause of the Community both in *««»* 
and in Britain, this organisation sent a telegram to the V iccroy 
questioning my statement on the Community's ease. In effect, 
said that an organisation which did not know anything of what was 
really happening in the political field, of what took place before 
the Sapni Conciliation Committee, of my efforts in respect of the 
Simla Conference, an organisation which was helpless to raise a 
finger to assist the Community, yet spent its time in trying to destroy 
the efforts of the only organisation to which the Community owed 
everything, deserved no quarter. 

In Bengal which holds the largest concentration of Anglo-Indians 
in the Country, a body of independents set themselves up against 
the Association's 4 candidates. I did a lightning tour also of 
Bengal. In March the results of the Provincial Assembly elections 
were announced. Every seat in every Legislature was captured by 
the candidates set up by the All-India Body. For the first lime in 
its history the Community presented complete, unique cohesion. 

For the Community these developments proved to be pro- 
vidential, as my interviews with Gandhiji and more especially with 
Sardar Patel, a few months later, will show. 

As part or the steps towards constitutional changes, the British 
Parliamentary Delegation came out to India in December, 1945. 

I met the delegation formally in the Viceroy's House on the 7th 
December, 1945. On the Uth December I invited the leader of 
the Delegation, Mr. Richards, and Mr. Woodrow Wyatt, M.P., 
who was also a member of the London Committee of the Associa- 
tion, to lunch. After lunch I placed before the delegation in some 
considerable detail the history of the Community, its War record 
and its political and economic position. I underlined the need 
for the British Administration at least to accept the recommenda- 
tions of the Sapru Committee which had, in turn, been accepted 
By the major parties in India including the Congress Party. 

Speech Against Discrimination t 

Among the several speeches I made in the House during the 

Budget Session, that delivered by me on the 25th March, 1946, on 



170 T1IE STOUT OF TJtE AXCtO-ISDIAS covwvsrrr 

the Finance Dill recaptures, to some extent, the position of the 
Community at that time, the odd* that we were fighting against 
and also the discrimination that continued to inspire the policies or 
the Administration. 

“Mr. Trank Anthony (Nominated Anglo-Indian) Mr. President, 
Sir, m the few minutes at my disposal, 1 propose to make a plea on 
behalf of the smaller minorities in India, more particularly on behalf 
of the Anglo-Indian Community in view of the momentous dis- 
cussion* which are now going on. There maybe a tendency at a 
time like this for the two main protagonists, the two huge commu- 
nities in India, to occupy and to monopolise completely the politi- 
cal arena. 1 would appeal to them and to those responsible for 
conducting the discussions not completely to overlook the right* 
of the smaller minorities in India." 

“Speaking for my small but important Community, let me make 
it very clear that 1 heartily endorse the sentiments expressed by 
Pandit Malaviya. I hope, more than that I pray, that these dis- 
cussions will result in India being given her rightful place among 
the comity of free and great nations." 

Encouragement Of Renegadism 

“On be hair of my Community, I wish to make an emphatic 
protest. Discrimination is not so definite or obvious as in the days 
of Valentia, but it is as real, if more insidious, today." 

"For instance, my Community is, today, a community severat 
hundred thousand strong. But if you look at the official census 
figures of 1911, you will see that we have been listed as 140,422. 
What is the reason for this official estimate or a Community which, 
at a conserva live estimate, is closer to hatfa million? It is the result 
of a deliberate official policy of emasculating my Community. In 
1931, 15 years ago, the Census Commissioner said that the Anglo- 
Indians were about 200,000 strong. Fifteen years since then, 
suddenly, a community which was accepted by him as being a virile 
and prolific community has instead of increasing been reduced by 
39 to 40 per cent. The truth is that Anglo-Indians are being en- 
couraged deliberately to practise renegadism. Anglo-Indians are 
being encouraged to return themselves on the European electoral 
rolls. I have no quarrel with my European friends. I wish them 
well and I do hope that they will continue to play a great part in the 



171 


future India. Hu. I wish to point out that thi, .'“'S’*™ ^ £ 
suited in celling the number of European, and bnn g.ng them_.n_ 
flated representation in the different Provincial Legi 
have agrievance again,, the European Anooauon. Theydel,- 
berately eneourage people whom they know not o be Europea 
to join the European Association. It ., an avowed pohey. 

Mr C P. Lawson : "Will the llon'hle Member quote chapter 
and verse in support of hi, statement and prove that “ “ 

Mr. Frank Anthony: “I wilt give you one instance. 1 AM refcr 
to the Punjab. Aeeording to the official eemus (igureof 1911, .hero 
were about GOOD Anglo-Indian, of whom about 3,000 WOT : adult 
literate, and should hate been on the elee,or,lmU,. o,madrf 
thi, you find 503 on the electoral mil,: and of thn number 300 
appear aim on the European, electoral roll,. 

Mr. C.P. Lawson : “Who did it’ 1 ' during 

Mr. Frank Anthony : “You did it. koueneouragrdpeople dunng 

the war. I ,va, addnusing the European ’ ' 

The Administration ha, encouraged thn del.bera y. ^ 

to my, during the war. I protested over and “PJ" ° " 
military auU.ori.ie, that their recru.tmg office* “ 

couraged and even compelled Anglo-Indant r.o regu.er 
a, European,. I can cite earn after ease. When a lad would g 
a recruiting officer and my, -I am an Anghwlndan the rocrumng 
officer would my, ‘Go back. Think. over ..and come bark tomo 
and enrol yourself a, aEuropean.’ He wen. bark and he rn^I 
hewastecrui.ed a, a European. I my you have dehbemtely eumrou 
lated my Community. You do it in order to .nDa e youreleemral 
roll, in oMer to get inflated representabon m the Legulature. 

Mr. C.P. Lawson : "That is nonsense. . 

Mr. Frank Anthony : “Itbabroiutely true. You have doneit over 

and over again and it is part of your official pohey Th e™ “ 
use in hying to resist my tugumen, by mymg that thu n nomense 
I can quote chapter and verse in support of my statement. 

Mr. P. T. Griffiths : “On a point of information. . f 

Mr. Firi.U.ony: “I am not giving way. At the hegmm^f 
the war them were differential scale, of pay lod.an 
ed Officer, were given one scale : Urn stalled f wm 

recruited in India got a different an a ig Anglo-Indian, 

the result? Because of these different.al emolument, Anglo-lnrna 



172 THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

were encouraged to make false declarations. I gave not one but 
scores of instances to the military authorities. One brother, because 
he was not prepared to deny his parentage and his Community, got 
the scales of the Indian Officer. The other, the renegade, the cheat 
and the liar, because he made a false declaration, was getting the 
higher scale of the so-called European. This is all part of your 
policy, an insidious policy of preventing a person who has the 
courage of his conviction from achieving a position commensurate 
with his ability and thereby encouraging renegadism in my Commu- 
nity. I can give the House numerous instances where persons have 
been members of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, Governors of 
Provinces, famous military commanders, who were all Anglo- 
Indians, but they would not have been allowed to reach those 
positions if they had called themselves Anglo-Indians. They were 
made and encouraged to call themselves Europeans.” 

An Hon’ble Member: “Define the term ‘Anglo-Indian’.” 

Mr. Frank Anthony : “I am glad this question has been put to me. 
Even the most highly placed official docs not appear to know the 
definition. The Government of India Act of 1935 has defined this 
term. My Hon'ble friends of the European Group are under a mis- 
apprehension as regards the connotation of this term Anglo-Indian. 
A person of European descent in the male line whose parents are 
habitual residents of India is an Anglo-Indian. If I may give an 
example, my Hon'ble European friends sitting there on the front 
benches, according to the definition, if their parents are habitual 
residents of India, they may claim to be of the purest European 
descent tracing their ancestry from the remotest Kings of England, 
but if their parents are habitual residents or India and they were 
bom in this country, then they are Anglo-Indians.” 

The Hon’ble Sir Archibald Rowland : ‘‘Don’t point at me. I am 
a Welshman.” 

Mr. Frank Anthony : ‘‘I am not pointing at anyone. If your 
parents are habitual residents of this Country and you were born 
here, then you are an Anglo-Indian, whether you like it or not. My 
Hon blc friends of the European Group want me to quote chapter 
and verse. In all the Government official communiques and in all 
Government records they deliberately encourage people to call them- 
selves Domiciled Europeans. There are not more than about 200 
Domiciled Europeans in the whole of India. Yet look at the official 



WT GRUt TASK 


173 


figures. What was done during the war? We Anglo-Indians ate 
a small Community. During the last war we won V.Cs but the 
recipients were all classified as Europeans. In this war, too, you 
denied the Anglo-Indian Community the credit of their achieve- 
ments. In this small Community you have drawn a division. You 
have lumped the so-ea!ied Domiciled European and the European 
together. I maintain that 99 per cent of the so-called Europeans 
bom in India and in the Armed Forces are Anglo-Indians. Yet 
the Government has tried to filch the credit from us. I am sorry 
to have to address the European Group in this way, but they are 
morally responsible for it. They aid Government in the continu- 
ance of this policy. They have done irreparable injury to my 
Community. They have fostered this renegadism in my Commu- 
nity. Why do you use this term ‘Domiciled European'? The 
other day, one of my Hon'ble friends on the other side put a question 
as to how many Indians and how many Europeans there were in a 
particular department and the Hon’ble Member in charge of the 
department gratuitously said there were so many Indians, so many 
Anglo-Indians and so many Europeans. I say an Anglo-Indian 
is an Indian by nationality. But the Government maintains this 
artificial division between us and the other communities in India. 
Further, why do you also continue this term Domiciled European? 
It is misnomer. If a Pole settles down in America, docs he call 
himself a Domiciled Pole? No, he becomes an American. Simi- 
larly when a European settles down in India, he must become an 
Indian^ Why does he call himself a Domiciled European?” 
Mr. President : “The Hon’ble Member has dealt with this point at 
sufficient length. He will take up other points, because his time is 
being taken up only by this point.” 

Mr. Frank Anthony : “This is the most important point and 
that is why I have taken up so much time. I do wish to be allowed 
some more time if necessary to elaborate this point. As I was 
saying, Sir, why should people from my Community be asked to 
classify themselves as Domiciled Europeans? I admit that we 
have had renegades in the past. Thank God owing to the policy 
pursued by my predecessor-in-office and myself, 99 per cent of 
my Community, today, are proud to call themselves Indians. But 
as a result of this official policy pursued by the Government and 
by the European Group, you tempt some of the Anglo-Indians to 



174 the Story op the anglo-indian cosimunity 

become renegades. I ask again, why do you continue to use the 
term Domiciled European ?” 

“There is another aspect which I should like to point out to the 
members of the European Group. A Domiciled European is not 
a native of India. When you encourage an Anglo-Indian to return 
himself as a Domiciled European you deliberately encourage him 
to commit economic ‘hara kin*. It is very likely that an Indian 
Government will exclude Domiciled Europeans from employment 
in this Country, as they are not natives of India. You deliberately 
encourage the members of my Community to call themselves Domi- 
ciled Europeans without making them realise the implications of 
such a step.” 

An Hon’ble Member ; “No : No.” 

Mr. Frank Anthony: “You have deliberately done it over and 
over again.” 

Mr. President : “The Hon’ble Member’s time is over." 

Mr. Frank Anthony : “I wish to be given ten minutes more, 
Sir.” 

Mr. President : “The Hon’ble Member will-have to finish in 
five minutes.” 

Mr. Frank Anthony : “There was this renegade complex in the 
past. I do not apologise for it, but these were the reasons. We 
have through our schools contributed vitally to the national life 
of this Country. I hope this will be appreciated by ail sections of 
people in this Country. We have given to India through our schools 
a system of education which other schools have nothing to offer 
by way of comparison. But I have been a bitter critic of the 
psychology in some of these schools. The European has hitherto 
largely controlled education in these schools. My Community 
has been made to look away from India. But thank God we are 
slowly bringing back these schools under the control of Anglo- 
Indians. I hope. Sir, my Hon’ble friends of the European Group 
will not feel aggrieved at what I have said. It is entirely the result 
of their own policy that they have so few friends in India who will 
tel! them the truth. I say to the Europeans, in all sincerity, that 
we, the Anglo-Indian Community, after all, are able to under- 
stand the European better than any other community in India. 
Wc understand also the people of India better than any European 
could ever hope to do. But it is very difficult for me to make a 



UT CMU TASK 


175 


European appreciate thb. It is because the European has sealed 
himself off in a highly insulated social system that he is unable to 
get to understand the real feelings and emotions of Indians. A 
European may serve in this Country for 30 or 35 years : he may 
give the best years of his life, he may put in selfless service to 
the cause or Indians in this Country, yet I say that 99 per cent of the 
Europeans in this Country, after having put in a long and even bril- 
liant career of service, fail completely to understand the psychology 
of the people of this Country. There is this psychological void. 
You do not understand the peoples of thb Country. If you had 
willed it, you could have allowed us to fill that void. But if I 
talk to a European about the bitterness of India in the matter of 
racial dberimination you do not understand. The reason is not 
far to seek. A Britisher in his own country is perhaps the finest 
European in the world. But what happens to him the moment he 
crosses the Suez Canal, I do not know, I feel that the main causes 
of bitterness in thb Country arc social causes. The Europeans 
have no social contacts with the people of this Country. The 
European women in India unfortunately have done a criminal 
disservice to their own people in England." 

• Mr. President: "The Hon’ble Member’s time b over.’’ 

Mr. Frank Anthony: "I would make a final appeal to the 
European Group not to regard what I have said in a spirit of 
resentment, because I do believe that if only the Europeans would 
■offer the hand of friendship to the other peoples in thb Country, 
jn return the people of India will extend to the Europeans real 
friendship.” 

Final Betrayal 

On the 10th April, 1946, I interviewed the Cabinet Mission. 

. I had taken the precaution of preparing a memorandum setting out 
fairly fully the position of the Community and its claims in any 
proposed constitutional pattern. On the 12th April, 1946, the 
Hindustan Times, the leading nationalist English daily in New 
Delhi, wrote the following editorial. 

"The awakening of patriotism among Anglo-Indians has been 
more recent, but they, too, have nearly fallen into line. The 
difficulties of thb small Community are many. In its origin, it 
was an alien and almost hostile element, but through the pressure 



176 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

of circumstances and wise leadership it has come to feel that it 
should throw in its lot with the people or India as a whole. The 
All-India Anglo-Indian Association, in the course of their reply 
to the questionnaire of the Sapru Committee bitterly complained 
of the false position in which the Anglo-Indians had been placed 
through wrong education and step-motherly treatment. 'All 
manner of absurd prejudiceshave been current in the socio-economic 
structure of Indian life. The European has affected and canalised 
an attitude of superiority to Indian and Anglo-Indian alike. The 
Anglo-Indian has been guilty of affecting an attitude of aloofness 
to his Indian brother. By way of retaliation, our fellow-Indians 
have regarded us with mistrust and unfriendliness’. The memo- 
randum concluded with the words, *VVe cannot be blamed for the 
fact that our mother-tongue is English and our culture is a culture 
derived from the West. The history taught us in our schools has 
been British history. But, today, the Anglo-Indian Community 
has awakened to the fact that it is one of India’s communities, 
and that the hopes and aspirations of India are also our hopes and 
aspirations’.” 

“We are glad that Mr. Anthony, their able spokesman, told the 
Cabinet Mission that the Community had completely entered the 
nationalist fold and would be content with such safeguards as it 
could obtain from its countrymen on grounds of reason and 
justice." 

“It is worthy of notice that Mr. Anthony pleaded for a strong 
Centre. As in the case of separate electorates, there is a mistaken 
belief that a strong Central Government will benefit the majority 
community. The only danger to minorities is from local prejudices 
and animosities getting exaggerated importance through passion 
and propaganda. Just as under responsible Government the 
influence of minorities is considerably lessened by separate electo- 
rates, statutory protection to the minorities through fundamental 
rights and other means is weakened if the authority to enforce it 
in practice is completely decentralised and vested in the units. A 
strong Centre, in the legislature and executive on which the 
minorities will be duly represented, will be a valuable protection 
against the exploitation of communal passions by local vested 
interests. The case for the widest provincial autonomy rests on 
the need for providing the maximum possible expression to linguistic 



vrr cnm task 


177 


and cultural groups, and in India these groups cut across religious 
and communal frontiers.” 

‘The Statesman’, a widely read and influential English daily, 
one of the few then British-owned, on the llth April, wrote the 
following editorial. 

“That the Anglo-Indian Community had entered the Nationalist 
fold and did not seek privileges or preferential treatment, but would 
work with other small minorities for the recognition of certain 
rights, was one of the points stressed in a memorandum submitted 
by Mr. Frank Anthony, Fresident of the All-India Anglo-Indian 
Association, to the British Cabinet delegation today.” 

“It is understood that the memorandum presented by Mr. 
Anthony began by outlining the history of the Anglo-Indian 
Community, which is of Indian nationality and has throughout 
contributed largely to the national life of India. It then urged 
that the smaller minorities, including Anglo-Indians, should be 
given adequate opportunity of stating their case in the Constituent 
Assembly where they should have not less than a specified number 
of seatj. In any interim arrangement at the Centre, there should 
he a composite Executive Council on which they should be re- 
presented. These points are also part of the Indian Christian case." 

“The Anglo-Indian memorandum went on to urge that there 
was a danger not only of the principle of weigh tage for minorities 
being misapplied but also of this misapplication being extended. 
Wcightage was intended to protect smaller minorities’ interests, 
but ir it was given to huge communities, smaller minorities might 
be squeezed out and the principle perverted.” 

“It was also stated that a comparatively small community like 
the Anglo-Indian scattered in various provinces likely to be under 
Congress or Muslim League control, could not be expected to take 
sides actively on the question of the division or unity of India. As 
a nationalist community they had no sectarian leanings but desired 
to see India a great Country. Anglo-Indians felt, however, that 
the best interests of the Country would be served by political unity 
with as strong a Centre as possible. Before any decision was taken 
on a division of India, it should be submitted to a plebiscite of adult 
inhabitants or the areas concerned.” 

“The memorandum expressed the belief that the future Govern- 
ment or Governments of India would welcome the Anglo-Indian: 



178 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COiDfUNITY 

Community on account of its proved qualities which included 
discipline and civic stability. After referring to Anglo-Indians’ 
services to the Country in the armed forces and the great depart- 
ments the memorandum added, ‘We shall give to the future 
administration the same loyalty and steadfastness that we have 
exhibited in the past.’ It was pointed out that Anglo-Indians in 
the police force had already shown during 1937-39 that they would 
serve popular Ministries with their customary efficiency and 
loyalty.” 

I immediately reported back to my Governing Body my impres- 
sions of my interview with the Cabinet Mission. 

In my report to my Governing Body I pointed out my fears with 
regard to the attitude of the Cabinet Mission. I had spent more 
than an hour and a half in discussions with the Cabinet Mission 
and had also gone through my memorandum with them. I found 
Lord Alexander a well-meaning person but one who appeared to 
have no conception of the Indian scene and still less of the real 
position of the Anglo-Indian Community. So far As Lord Pethick 
Lawrence was concerned, he was certainly well-meaning towards 
Indian aspirations, but had no real knowledge either of the history 
or the services of the Community. Perhaps, inevitably, the person 
whom I found to be the most informed was Sir Stafford Cripps. 
He asked me many questions which were indicative Of a keenly 
analytical, legal mind. The trend of his questions showed perhaps 
a logical but also a mechanical approach to the position. He under- 
lined the numerical smallness of the Community and -emphasised 
that giving representation in the Constituent Assembly would mean 
giving unprecedented and almost fantastic weightage. I pointed 
out, however, that Our case was not posited on any mathematical 
or mechanical formula : our position represented an amalgam of 
historical and political facts which had, only recently, been accept* 
ed by the Sapru Committee, whose recommendations had been 
endorsed by the largest party in the Country, namely, the Cong- 
ress Party. ** 

I did not hide from my Governing Body, however, my anxiety 
as to the results of my talks. I drew attention to the fact that 
Cripps had a bad record so far as the Community was concerned. 
In 1942 the Cripps* formula had completely ignored the Community 
and had given it ik> semblance of a place in fhe”proposed Const! - 



irr cum task 


179 


tuent Assembly. The Cripps formula or 1942 gave the Community 
no opportunity even to present its case to the framers of the 
Constitution. The Cripps proposals in 1942 had been described 
by Sir Henry Gidney, the then accredited leader of the Anglo- 
Indians, as a cynical betrayal of the Community. I, however, 
felt that my request for minimum representation, that is, at least 
one seat in the Constituent Assembly to enable the Community 
to state its case before India’s constitution-making body would be 
accepted, particularly as the Sapru Conciliation Committee had 
recommended that the Community should be granted at least 2 
seals in such a body. 

• In one respect the representatives of the Labour Government 
started with certain advantages. Unlike members of the Conser- 
vative Party, they had no association with British rule in India 
and, therefore, no background of any preconceived notions or 
what may even be described as political inhibitions. For a Com- 
munity like the Anglo-Indians, however, this advantage could 
easily turn into a calamitous disaster. As I mentioned to my 
Governing Body, I had pleaded our case before people who might 
bes described, without any offence, as ‘political parvenus’. They 
had no real background association with conditions in India and 
the special position and difficulties of the minorities and more 
especially of the Anglo-Indians. 

On the 16th May the Cabinet Mission’s plan was announced. 
No' place was accorded to the Community in the proposed Consti- 
ttiint Assembly. An Advisory Committee, however, was proposed 
in which the Community would receive representation, but the 
quantum of such representation was not defined. 

Letter To Viceroy 

On the 30th May I addressed a letter to the Viceroy, Lord 
Wavell. 

Inter alia, I said, 

“There arc certain features of the Cabinet Mission’s recommend- 
ations which are not clear so Far as they affect my Community. I 
shall, therefore, be most grateful if these points could be clarified 
as there is certain understandable apprehension on the part of my 
Community about the exact implications of these items.” 

•“I had sincerely hoped that a minimum of representation for the 



180 THE STOUT OF THE ANGLO-IKDHS COMUUNITT 

smaller minorities, in the Constituent Assembly, would be pres- 
cribed by the Cabinet Mission. Tor instance, in the proposed 
house of about 200 members for British India, I feel certain that 
none of the Indian leaders would have objected to at least 2 or 
even 3 scats being granted to my Community.” 

“Further, it is not clear as to what the constitution, functions 
and powers of the proposed Advisory Committee will be. From 
the statement of Sir Stafford Cripps it would appear that this 
Advisory Committee is to be set up with the specific purpose of 
securing effective representation of the interests of the smaller 
minorities particularly of the Indian Christians and Anglo-Indians." 

“I shall be grateful for a clarification as to how this effectiveness 
is to be secured to the recommendations of this proposed Advisory 
Committee." 

“What guarantee is there that the Advisory Committee must be 
brought into existence? Further, what representation, to be 
considered adequate, is to be granted to my Community on this 
Advisory Committee?” 

“Lastly, in what way is this representation to be made, that is, 
what is the procedure to be adopted for securing the representation 
of my Community on the Committee?” 

I received a reply on the 8th June, 19-16. Among other things 
the Viceroy said, 

“The constitution functions and powers of the proposed Advisory 
Committee were left to be determined by the Constituent Assembly. 
The Cabinet Mission certainly expect, however, that the Committee 
will be a powerful and influential body. It will be for the Consti- 
tuent Assembly to accept or reject the recommendations of the 
Committee, but clearly a Committee of this sort will carry a great 
deal or weight, and its report will attract publicity all over the 
world.” 

Quite frankly, the proposals came as a shock to me. I realised 
that the Advisory Committee, as its name suggested, could only 
be a recommending body. There would be no Anglo-Indian in the 
Constituent Assembly to urge the acceptance of the recommend- 
ations which the Advisory Committee may make in favour of the 
Community. The Cabinet Mission proposals left the Community 
without even a single advocate of its cause in the Constituent 
Assembly. I knew that even with a representative our position 



JJT GRIM TASK 181 

would be inordinately difficult in the Constituent Assembly. 
There would be blank walls of prejudice, if not of hostility, to 
break through in the Constituent Assembly. Without a powerful 
advocate in that forum, there was Jittle, if any, hope of the Com' 
munny receiving any kind of recognition much leu of representation 
in the future political set-up. 

Meetings JI7 th India's Leaders 

I then decided to meet Gandhiji, Jawaharla! Nehru and Sardar 
Patel. I met Gandhiji on Friday, the 10th June. At that time 
he was staying in what was known as the ‘Bhangi* (Sweeper) Colony. 
He gave me a long and patient hearing. This was the first time 
that I had the occasion to meet Gandhiji. Since my assumption of 
office, most of the political leaders had been in prison. I gave him 
a brief survey or the position and needs of the Community. He 
was frank with me and said that but for the policies that I had 
pursued during the past 4 yean, there would have been little 
hope of tbe Anglo-Indian Community receiving any consideration 
from tbe leaden of Indian opinion. 

Gandhiji asked me why the Community wanted recognition as 
a separate entity: it was an Indian community and Christian, and 
he felt that it could take its place as part of the Indian Christian 
Community. I explained to Gandhiji, at some length, that this 
would mean the destruction of the Community. The Anglo- 
Indians, in fact, are the only real racial-cum-linguistic minority 
in India. Over a period of 300 years we had evolved into a 
distinctive, homogeneous entity with our own way of life, our 
culture and our language, Engtish. I pointed out that the 
Anglo-Indians would regard any de-recognition of our position 
as a distinctive minority as a blow at our very existence, which 
could not be acceptable to the Community. 

I told Gandhiji that apart from the historical and political factors 
that combined to make the Anglo-Indians a distinctive and dis- 
tinctly recognised community, this position also had statutory 
sanction. Apart from the definition of the Community specifically 
embodied in the Government or India Act of 1935, I said that the 
Indian Succession Act of 1925 had defined the ‘Indian Christian* 
as a native of India of unmixed Asiatic descent and who professed 
any form of the Christian religion. This statutory definition of 



182 


THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITf 


‘Indian Christian’ did not include the Anglo-Indian. 

More than once, Gidney had been challenged by hostile members 
in the Central Legislature. He was asked why he claimed separate 
identity from the Indian Christians. Once Gidney was asked, “Are 
you not an Indian?” Gidney replied “Yes”. He was then asked “Are 
you not a Christian?” Again Gidney said “Yes". To the asser- 
tion “Then you are an Indian Christian,” while rather indignandy 
repudiating the suggestion, the usually quick-witted Gidney for 
once had no rational reply. Not being a lawyer, he was perhaps 
unable to elucidate both the constitutional and the statutory 
position. 


Gandhiji then asked me what representation I felt would be 
adequate. I had not come prepared to meet such a question 
specifically. I, however, mentioned that I felt that since the 
Sapru Committee had recommended 2 seats, 3 seats would be 
adequate. Gandhiji said that so far as he was concerned, he would 
be prepared to recommend 3 seats for the Community in the 
Constituent Assembly. 

I met Jawaharlal Nehru on the 1 1th June. This was also my 
first mceung wtth Nehru. Quite frankly, I had wondrrrd what 
his attitude would be. In hit Autobiograhy, Nehru had made 
some unflattering references to the arrogance or the Anglo-Indians 
and the,, overbearing attitude towards other Indian communities. 
I wondered whether he would be conditioned by that thinking. 
Actually, I found Nehru very charming. I put the position of the 
Community ,o him much more briefly than when I had met 
Gandhiji. I found ,ha, Nehru was not concerned with details. 
He asked certam questions which were not unduly pertinent to the 
constitutional or political position „f the Community. I remember 
distinctly his a,l„„g me whether hi, relative’s children were 
Anglo-Indians. As it happened, the relative in question, B.K. 
Nehru who was later our Ambassador in Washington and is 
mi„7 y ,?% GOV ' : m° r ° f *”*“■ had bm > » contemporary of 
, - a .. C ” ner c m ple, London. I mentioned that I knew 

"1 TV ." h ' >" d ™™ d * European woman, 

under the definition of she ,e™ ’Anglo-Indian’ the children would 
“ A ”S 1 °- , n d i*n> ■ I said ,ha, biologically they might be Anglo- 

SSrtMSL"* ,h ' ddini,i “ 



MT GRIM TASK 


183 


I then met Sardac Patel. Thit, alto. ™ my Sett meeting«itl. 
the Sardar. In the popular mind he had been tnveste "» 

pSS£|siS2 

also the special economic nerds of the Community. Y , 

non-committal, monosyllabic grunts he did not .nt^rup ^ 
wondered how much he had taken in. T y JT 

rii'rKSj smeu 

irss ^ s r hi; 

problem- within thc J ho ^/^ 5 f Jc ask ed me how many votes 
many seats I wanted. I sa.d 3. 3 candidates to the 

in my opinion would be required was t hat, on an 

Constituent Assembly. 1 ^ said that my ^ cach Provincial 

average, it would require »*»“* ,*«. Constituent Assembly. 

Assembly to return one representative to , h d 4 

I made it clear, however, that except for 

.c»u, »t could not, on our own ’ me how many 
tative to the ConsUtuent Assembly. Hc ., How 

seats we had in all the Provincial As * J “cording 

mony of thrne Hc link incredulous .hot 

to my direction. I said all 12. H . in every Legis- 

I could command the vote of every ng o- { 

iature, but I assured him that he would be 
since we had 12 seats in direction, 

prepared, on my assurance of their 8 J ^ constituent 
to recommend 3 scats for the Co ty have to vote 

Assembly. He said that the Anglo-lndrans « d suto wbctt - 

in support ornon-Atiglo-lndiaitCooEmMCa^ Out from 

no Anglo-Indian representat.ve could be return , ^ , he . 

three Provincial Assemblies he svou ™"' C ' A ^^ Inliialu were; 
necessary number of Congress sotes. 



184 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

returned to the Constituent Assembly. 

I followed up my interviews by writing fairly comprehensive 
letters both to Gandhiji and the Sardar. The position with regard 
to the Constituent Assembly had been clarified. In my talks with 
them I had not laid particular emphasis on the need for represen- 
tation in the Executive Council, the Indian counterpart of the 
British Cabinet. In my letters I did place this emphasis. 

Congress Recommends Anglo-Indian For Interim Government 

In the meantime active steps had been taken to form an Interim 
Government. I was anxious that the Community should find a 
place in the Interim Government. I realised that in this matter 
I could get no assistance either from the Viceroy or the British 
Administration. The Simla Conference and the Cabinet Mission’s 
proposals had illustrated that abundantly. With the seal that 
had been placed on our position by the Sapru Committee we had 
an excellent case for representation in the Interim Government. 
I felt strongly that with an Anglo-Indian in the Central Cabinet 
the chances of the Community finding a place of recognition in the 
future Constitution would be vastly enhanced. I also felt that 
once the principle of representation of the Community in the 
Government was accepted, it would grow into a convention and 
would give the Community an established place in the highest 
•councils of the Nation. I also realised that, here again, I was up 
against the die-hard attitude of the British officials who surrounded 
the Viceroy. Further, I had some misgivings as to the personal 
attitude of Wavell. I had on more than one occasion crossed 
swords with him when he was the Commander-in-Chief and I was 
a member of the National Defence Council. Unfortunately, I 
had also been obliged to criticise Lady Wavell’s handling, when 
she was acting head of the Corps, of the policies in the Women 
Auxiliary Corps which had created so much resentment among 
the Anglo-Indian members. I took the precaution, therefore, of 
writing to the Viceroy and informing him that in pleading the case 
for the inclusion of the Community in the Interim Government I 
sought nothing for myself. All I wanted was the principle accepted 
of giving the Community representation in the Interim Government. 

I said that the Governing Body of the Association would recommend 
an Anglo-Indian, if necessary other than myself, for a place in the 



ifT CRXU TASK. 

Cabinet. 1 then "tot' •» Gandhiji and tl.e^Sarfar In 

I mentioned that I “J, P ,^44r, laid that Hthe Congieo 

I saw the Sardar once again. ■ . ^^mend me. 

recommended an Anglo-Indian, e> personal 

Candhiji lent me a long letter tnneh of «h.ch ^ 

character giving advice to lh ' , „,,h regard to 

policies that I had punned. The follem ing ct J^dGcant- 

5he representation in the In.enm Gmcmmen.nnangru ^ 
•The Sapnt Committee'. It the Conttituent 

please temember that thu n an tn ^ a j^jrjous thing. 

Assembly were to ignore you then thc Congress 

But thi. must not happen. A. matter o been 

could hate had if nay. vhich it ha. not. yen ttould 

in the Interim Government too. . ctt _. dated the 

the Sardar sent me the follotving reply to my letter oa 

18th June. 

Dear Friend, , \Ve tried our 

1 hate tceeited your letter of the I “ dud;ng the Anglo- 
best to accommodate all the mino . ^ ional National 

Indian Community, in the formation o League took an 

Government. Unfortuna.rly, Mr. Jamah and hn Uagn 
attitude from the He 

tation except that of the Sikh and narity basis, 

insisted on the limitation of 12 seats, o " We pressed 

he claimed 5 and agreed to allow 5 to t c ^ accommodate 

for increasing the number so as to ena Women.” 

representation for the Anglo-Indians, arsis Depressed 

"Talso pressed foe mom “ 

Classes. But the League nould not agree I ^ number 

™ 8"*t diBienhy Umt ««. nomi Jed by the Viceroy 

increased to 14, in which a Fais herewith a press-cutting 

•without our knowledge. I am Community’, 

from which you will see our * tn ™ see that justice 

Whenever in future any occasion 's ill arise, so far as 

is done to the Anglo-Indians. You can be sure ot tna 
the Congress is concerned. 


Yours sincerely, 
Vallabhbhai Patel 



186 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


Frank Anthony, Esq., MLA, Barrister-at-Law, , 

President-in-Chief, 

The Anglo-Indian Association, 

New Delhi. 

The press-cutting which the Sardar enclosed was from the 
Hindustan Times. It was as follows. 

“Hindustan Times, 

New Delhi, 

Sunday, 10th June. 

Majority Of Congress Nominees Accepted By Mission 

"The statement of the Cabinet Delegation and the Viceroy 
regarding the Interim Government has been well received by 
political quarters. The main reasons for this attitude are : 

“There is no Congress-League parity. 

“The Muslim League are 5 out of 14 instead of 5 out of 12 as 
demanded by Mr. Jinnah. 

“The names of Sardar Baldev Singh and Dr. John Mathai 
recommended by the Congress have been accepted.” 

“There is a specific pledge that the composition of the Interim 
Government will not be treated as a precedent for the solution of 
any other communal question,” 

“Out of 14 names, 11 are those recommended by the Congress”. 

“The changes made are Sir N.P. Engineer, Sardar Abdur Rab 
Nishtar and Mr. H.K. Mahtab. It is said that the Congress re- 
commended Mr. Frank Anthony of the Anglo-Indian Community, 
since the Parsi Community has had representation in the Executive 
Council. The working Committee had also proposed that Dr. 
Zakir Hussain should represent Independent Muslims. It was 
proposed by the Working Committee that Mr. Sarat Chandra Bose, 
leader of the Congress Party in the Assembly, should be in the 
Cabinet.” 

Mala Fide 

Not satisfied with the calculated exclusion of the Anglo-Indian 
Community from representation in the Constituent Assembly, s 
Viceroy Wavell, with almost malicious deliberation, resisted at 
every step the inclusion of a representative of the Community in 

e iceroy s Executive Council. The enormity of this crowning 



disservice ha, ,o be measured .gains. .be fact 

Vas fighting for it. very em.ence-an uUrn-rn.cr^op c mmon.y 
seeking to find , place among .be hundreds of milh^ of India > 
other communities. In spite of the odium that »» «n*« i»J be 
British had attracted towards us, I had succeeded, P g 

4 yean, in largely effacing .lust odium. WMta -^apru 
Committee recommendations, I had secured^ - (tie 

India specific recognition of the Community * p acc 
important, politically recognised minorities '"““f 

Government’s mm plan originally was to have ™ 

Viceroy’, Eaectstive Council or Interim Cab, n« 
seat was to be filled either by an Indian Christian or S 

Indian. This mean, that if the number was 
Anglo-Indian was bound to liave been select ■ . , 3S 

die number was raised ro 14 the Anglo-Ind.an Communt.y 
singled out by the Viceroy for exclusion. p to thc 

In the list of nominees submitted by the 5^”* Gommunity. 
Viceroy there was a represema.ive of the Anglo-Indian Ot— 
While the Viceroy aecep.cd all .be other nommem 
Party, be went out r,r hi. way to ignore the Anglodnm ^ 
and instead selected Sir N.P, Engineer. g community, 
possessed no representative capacity even m his sm Attorne y. 
itePatsU. He was a servant of the Crown hemg the 
General. Perhaps BrilUh officialdom felt that Engtnee PP 
men, wa, an ad^uate ’quid pm quo’ for his P~f 
Indian National Army personnel. Even then Community 

their utmost ,o secure a place for the Anglo-Indian 
They approached .he Viceroy ro increme J- — 

14 to 15 as they did not wish to insist on N.P. tug 

so as to suggS any kind of hostility to the Parsn. Once aga 

the Viceroy, almost with deliberate malice, re us . oossible 

The Congress leaders pointed out to him that there 
justification for adhering to thc Viceroy * ormu a 
tatives of the Congress, 5 of the Muslim tap 
minorities as announced by the Viceroy on t e formula 

pointed out .hat there was no objrc. m adhering to the Bn. ^ 
since the Muslim League had, at that rime, no agre that 

Interim Government. It was also made c ea Congress 

should die League join .he Interim Government, .he Congres 



THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


nominees would resign and a fresh Cabinet formed. But all argu- 
ments with the Viceroy failed. His only purpose seemed the 
continuing, deliberate exclusion of the Community from the Central 
Cabinet. And that the seeming animus of the Viceroy was directed 
not against me, but against the Community, was clear from the 
context of what actually happened. As mentioned earlier, I had 
written to the Viceroy making it clear that any Anglo-Indian and not 
myself could be included in the Interim Government provided he 
had the approval and the confidence of the Governing Body of the 
All-India Anglo-Indian Association. 

The British seemed to resent that we had achieved so much on our 
own. They seemed to resent that our fellow-Indians were prepared 
to give us what the British had never deigned to give us throughout 
British Indian history. 

I convened an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association 
on the 22nd June, 1946, to consider the gratuitous disservice done to 
the Community by the Cabinet Mission’s proposals concerning the 
Constituent Assembly and the exclusion of the Community from the 
Interim Government. Vehement speeches were made by the younger 
elements, urging direct action against the Government in every 
possible way. I, however, counselled moderation in spite of my 
appreciation of the justification for the indignation and bitterness. 
A resolution was then unanimously adopted expressing the 
Community’s incredulity and bitterness at the criminal disservice 
done to the Anglo-Indians, when we were fighting for our exis- 
tence, by the Cabinet Mission and the Viceroy. - It was also resolved 
to call upon the Community to resign from the Auxiliary Force. 

The bitter and widespread resentment of the Community against 
these successive acts of cynical and conscienceless betrayal first 
by the Cabinet Mission and then by the Viceroy was demonstrated 
by the way in which the members of the Community in every 
part of the Country, at the call of the Association, submitted their 
resignations from the Auxiliary Force. This was no light or easy 
decision. For generations the Anglo-Indians had an almost 
traditional loyalty to the Government. In the Auxiliary Force 
they had represented India’s Second Line of Defence. In fact, 
for the Anglo-Indians on the Railways membership of the Auxiliary 
Force was made part of their contract of employment. When 
the Community, through the Association, decided to resign, the 



MT GRIM TASK 


109 


Railway Admini.tra.ion in.mcdia.ely took up a ^ 

Anglo-Indian railway-men were threatened w. ■ »u » d,„ m» 

They were .old .lu. .heir ra ,gna..on from .te .W»rV ^ 
meant a breach of contract. I pointed ou auxiliary y orcc 

that .hi. tins nothing of the tort, that under the Auxd ’cyJ ^ 
Ac. if an Anglo-Indian had complet'd d ie “» m 

mached the age of 45 J “ha. the compub.on 

I further pointed out to the Railway llo a condition 

on Anglo-Indian, to join the Auai ty ^ Anglo-Indian, 
precedent to their employment, v> • other 

Wng Indian national, could no. be ..ogled ou. h™ »”.h= °“ r , 
Indian national, for compultory service. E.cjy P 
and cover,, wa., however, brought tobear lT^ ^^liicd ihal^the 
oflicer. on Anglrelndian radwnyn.cn. They h a day -, 

unditturbed running ofthe Indian tnulwaynw^ ^ aUo perhaps 
purchase without Anglo-Indian support- ■> v officials, 

a penonal clement in dte attitude of European railway Me 
Many of them were oilmen in the opport- 

not view with equanimity the sudden te f thc Adminis- 

unities to play at soldiering. The sheer c > rn Wilcox Army 

nation wi underlined by the fact that whde the W.lco* 
Reorganisation Committee had recomme » Govern- 

.ha, The - Auailiary Feme .hould be Voided 

sStgss^^- - 

“™e S wanton disregard of dte inrermu of the 

India, when both the Cabinet M.w.on and the Viceroy^ . ^ 
ted the position which the Communi y Q-.^mcnt insisted 

Indian public opinion, yet the Viceroy m ^ wQuld j^ve been 

on Anglo-Indians continuing m railways but called 

used at any time not only to break *nk« on the radways 

out to suppreM any V*** “ ££ di.played by 

to .hoot down their fcllow-Ind: an.. ^ Admini.- 

the Community at dm mac um e madc .J th „ any attempt 
rSp.rttf’.teTdmtai.tmaon to vietimhe the Anglo-Indian. 



190 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


for resigning from the Auxiliary Force would be suitably answered 
by the Community, the Government decided to accept the resig- 
nations of members of the Community and to make membership 
of the Auxiliary Force voluntary. This order was issued in August, 
1946. 


The apparently calculated cynicism of the Cabinet Mission towards 
the Anglo-Indians was highlighted by the insidious way in which 
they sought to give the Europeans fantastic wcightage in the 
Constituent Assembly. While the Anglo-Indian Community had 
been denied even a single scat, the Cabinet Mission’s proposals 
would have resulted in the Europeans, because of their 
artificially large representation in the Bengal Legislature, being 
able to return between 6 and 8 representatives to the Constituent 
Assembly. 

I saw through this device and exposed it in the press. 
1 also mentioned it in my talks with Sardar Patel whom I met 
frequently. When this device was brought to their notice, the 
Indian leaders reacted strongly and insisted that the Europeans 
should not only have no seat in the Constituent Assembly, but 
should not even be allowed to exercise their votes to elect repre- 
sentatives from the Provincial Assemblies to the Constituent 
Assembly. 


I am almost certain that if the Cabinet Mission had acted in an 
°P en ' llanded > fair manner prescribing specific representation for 
all the minorities and had also granted about 2 seats to the 
Europeans, there would have been not a single dissenting voice 
n ® ut was re £ ar ded as sheer political jobbery for 
about 20,000 Europeans in the whole of India to be granted, 
' n a l °f uou * wa y> between 6 and 8 seats in the Constituent 
sem y The result of this attempted political nepotism was 
gratuitously to antagonise the Indian leaders and ensure the com- 
p ete exclusion of the Europeans from the Constituent Assembly. 


Changed Attitude Of Indian Leaders 

The rapid change in the attitude of the Indian leaders, at this 
demonstrated by the address to 
»e mTT? Chi '™™w °r Bombay, Bala S.heb Khar, 
“ f ,h ' 0 “ at ™ d "spaced leaden of the Congees. Party. 
Addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Bombay Branch 



MT CH1M TASK 


191 


of the All -India Anglo-Indian Association in July, 1946, he said, 
“One of the striking features of your Community lire and its activi- 
ties is its great cohesion. No other Community has such a well- 

knit organisation to see to or represent its interests. It is no won er, 

therefore, that the Association has succeeded in getting all the 
Assembly and Council seals in the Country filled by its candidates. 

I should lite to congratulate you on thlt and assure you 'hat ™ 
cooperation of your representatives will be needed, and wi ^ 
much appreciated in the Assembly which will frame Free In 1 a s 
Constitution.” . . 

Continuing Bala Saheb Kher said, “You have some special 
talents. You have been outstanding in certain fields ofaervice. 
These qualities will always stand you in good stead. There is 
much need for your courage, your sense of duty, your managing 
ability, your cheerful outlook, your mechanical aptitude. Yh er ^ 
is much room for the employment of your great organising ability. 

Critical Phase 

- The delicate and often dangerous position in which the Com- 
munity was placed at this fluid but decisive period in Indian 
history was illustrated by the tight rein that I was required to keep 
on the policies which some of our MLAs, perhaps unwilling 
pursued. 

• The Anglo-Indians in Bengal and those who represented the 
Community in the Bengal Legislature were not entirely to blame. 
They were, in a sense, the victims of local circumstances. Euro- 
pean politics not only in Bengal but in India had been dotninat 
by the Clive Street mentality, that is, the mentality of the English 
business tycoons. Because of this reactionary mentality and their 
complete ignorance of the psychology of the Indians, the Europeans, 
in the penultimate stage, threw away their opportunities with bot 
hands. Personally, I would like to have seen the Europeans get 
some sort bf representation in the Constituent Assembly in order 

to place their very real case before that body. If really experienc- 
ed European politicians, such as Sir Frederick James, had contro 
the policy of the European Association and not the reactionary, 
politically short-sighted European businessmen, the attitude o 
Indian opinion towards the Europeans would, almost certai^ y, 
have been quite different. Seemingly bereft of political imagma- 



192 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

tion, the British businessmen-politicians continued to live and move 
in their isolated world of reactionary illusion. The British repre- 
sentatives in the Legislature were suspected of having a secret alli- 
ance with the Muslim League. 

Even after I had succeeded in securing representation for the 
Community in the Constituent Assembly, the conditions in the 
Country continued to be critical and of a highly volatile character. 
The political set-up already highly complicated was made even 
more difficult and complex by the increasing tension between the 
two major political parties. The Anglo-Indian representatives had 
to walk with a constant wariness on which depended the very exist- 
ence of the Community. There was always the danger that our 
representatives in some of the Legislatures might commit them- 
selves to policies, determined by narrow provincial and parochial 
considerations, and which would have calamitous All-India re- 
percussions on the Community. The position of the Anglo-Indian 
representaUves in the Punjab and Bengal was particularly difficult. 
While in Bengal the Muslim League had a working majority, the 
opposition was powerful and vocal. In the Punjab, the corner- 
stone of the Pakistan claim, the Muslim League, although the 
largest single party, was unable to form the Government. Through 
speeches and articles in our journal I kept before our MLAs the 
vital need not to be stampeded by any temporary or local issues or 
to do anything which would antagonise the largest party, the 
Congress. I pointed out that the Congress Party was in a majority 
in 9 out of the II provinces. Three-fourths of the Community, 
I underlined, were resident in the Congress provinces. Above 
all, I emphasised the fact that we are an All-India Community not 
only in the sense that we arc scattered throughout the Country, but 
because 80% of the life and economy of the Community was tied 
up with and dependent on the Central Administration. With its 
overwhelming majority in the Constituent Assembly the Congress 
could, if our provincial representatives gratuitously antagonised this 
party, deprive the Community of its economic life-line in the Central 
Services and also destroy our whole educational system. It was 
only by dint of keeping a constantly tight rein on some of our pro- 
vincial MLAs that they were prevented, because they were unable 
to see the picture whole, from acting in a manner that might have 
gravely compromised if not destroyed the position of the Comma- 



MT CRJSt TASK 


193 


nity. Although the Anglo-Indian MLA* in Bengal had been re- 
turned on the Association ticket and were loyal to the Association, 
a quite misguided parochial assessment of the political situation 
made them believe that Bengal, including Calcutta, would fall into 
Pakistan. I was equally emphatic that Calcutta and a large part 
of West Bengal would never l>e included in Pakistan. Because of 
this misguided assessment, and from a desire not to antagonise the 
Muslim League, our MLAs, on a vote of no confidence which had 
been tabled by the powerful Congress Parly in Bengal, voted with 
the Muslim League Government. Immediately a bitter cry of 
condemnation went up from the Indian nationalist dailies. Thus 
the 'Hindustan Times' of New Delhi, which was then perliaps the 
most influential daily in the Country, published a scathing indict- 
ment of the action of the Anglo-Indian MLAs in Bengal. The 
Amrita Bazar Patrika’, the most influential nationalist English daily 
in Bengal, in an editorial in the month of June insisted that not only 
the Europeans but the Anglo-Indians also should have no vote for 
or a scat in the Constituent Assembly. 

In the same way, the Anglo-Indian MLA in the Punjab pursued 
a course which promised to antagonise both the Congress and the 
Muslim League. Although the Anglo-Indian MLAs had been 
returned because of the Association’s support and were enjoined to 
pursue an independent policy this MLA accepted the position of 
Private Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister or the Punjab 
(Khizar Hayat Khan) who belonged neither to the Congress nor 
the Muslim League party. 

Sardar Patel phoned me and protested against what he regarded 
as the opportunism of our M.L.A. in the Punjab. To undo the 
damage, I convened an extraordinary meeting of the Governing 
Body of the Association, to which our representative in the Punjab 
was summoned. At my request, Sardar Baldev Singh, who later 
became the Defence Minuter, attended the meeting and explained 
the critical position of the minorities in the Punjab. After hearing 
our Punjab M.L.A., the Governing Body decided to expel him from 
the Association. 

Realising that these actions of our MLAs might very well not 
only endanger but destroy the whole position that I had built up, 
I wrote a very strong page in our journal (The Anglo-Indian Re- 
view) for their future guidance. I pointed out that our MLAs 



194 the story op the Anglo-Indian cojemuntty 

owed a supreme responsibility to the Community throughout the 
Country and that in the critical context in which we were moving, 
we were bound to observe policies that were balanced in terms 
of the good or the whole Community. 

Be it said to the credit of the Anglo-Indian M.L.As in Bengal 
that they resisted all attempts by the Muslim League Ministry to 
seduce them politically. OlTersofa Ministership and other blandish- 
ments were rejected because of their allegiance to the larger in- 
terests of the Community as defined by me. 

Those were, indeed, grimly critical days. During that fateful 
period I had to tread a political razor’s edge. One false step would 
have meant not only political decapitation for the Community, 
but the destruction of its schools and economy. 



CHAPTER IX 


THE MIRACLE OF OUR 
CONSTITUTIONAL 
SAFEGUARDS 


I N accordance with the assurance given me by the Congress 
leaders, the Congress Party assisted in the election of 2 out of 
the 3 Anglo-Indian representatives to the Constituent Assembly. 
The number of votes required to ensure the return of one candidate 
from the Bengal State Legislature to the Constituent Assembly was 
4. As it happened, there "ere 4 Anglo-Indian representatives in 
the Bengal Legislature. I did not require any Congress support 
for ray return, as the 4 Anglo-Indian representatives voted 
for me. 

It is an interesting sidelight that votes "-ere fetching fantastic 
prices. It was known that certain candidates to the Constituent 
Assembly "-ere prepared to pay at least Rs. 30,000/- for a vote from 
a Provincial Assembly representative. It was also alleged that on 
the morning of the vo ting in Bengal for the Constituent Assembly 
at least one vote had been bought for Rs. 30,000/. It was fortunate 
that the Anglo-Indian Community's representatives who were re- 
turned on the Association ticket were persons of unimpeachable 
integrity. The other 2 Anglo-Indian representatives were re- 
turned from the Madras and what was then known as the Central Pro- 
vinces Legislatures. Since the Community had only 1 representative 
in each of these Legislatures, the Congress Party gave these 2 re- 
presentatives the necessary first votes from their party members in 
those two Legislatures to enable the other 2 Anglo-Indians to 
be returned to the Constitutent Assembly. 

The Constituent Assembly 

In October, 1946, 1 was selected as one of India’s principal dele- 
gates to represent the Country in the first delegation from Indepen- 



196 THE STOUT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN' COMMUNITY 

dent India to the United Nations. The leader or the delegation 
was Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit. I returned to India before the 
rest of the team as the work of the Constituent Assembly was to start 
on the 6th December, 19 16, and I was deeply anxious for the fate 
of the Community. 

On the opening day the Constituent Assembly did me the honour 
of unanimously electing me as Deputy Chairman. 

One of the most important non-oflicial committees to deal with 
the work of the Constituent Assembly seas formed shortly after- 
wards. It was known as the Advisory Committee of the Congress 
Party. This Committee was to adsise the Congress Tarty on all 
matters arising in or which had to go before the Constituent 
Assembly. It was a sort of steering committee. Although I was 
not a member of the Congress Party, I was invited to join it. 
Throughout the framing of the Constitution the membership 
of this Committee enabled me to express, in what was virtually 
a decision-making body of the majority party, my views on many 
vital matters which came up, later, for decision before the 
Constituent Assembly. On this Committee were Pandit Nehru, 
Maulana Azad, Sardar Patel, Pandit Pant, Acharya Kripalani, 
Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan, Mrs. Sarojini Xatdu, Dr. Rajendra 
Prasad, Mr. Rajagopalachari, Mr. S.C. Dose, Mr. Raft Ahmed 
Kidwai, Dr. Jayakar, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukberjee, Mr. Jagjivan 
Ram and four or five others. 

The Final Political Stage 

On the 20th February, 1947, Prime Minister Attlee announced 
in the House of Commons that the transfer of power to India would 
be made not later than June, 1940. If anything, the position of 
the minorities and, in a particular way, of the Anglo-Indians had 
become even more difficult and delicate. Because of the already 
acute and growing tension between the Congress and the Muslim 
League, the position of the minorities was anything but enviable. 
The tendency on the part of the major parties was one of almost 
blind intolerance. There was a tendency to think in terms of black 
and white. A party or a group or leader w as either for or against. 
No allowance was made for independent or objective thinking on 
the part of the minorities. 

- In this atmosphere, surcharged with communal suspicion and 


THE MIRACLE Or OUR COKSTmmON’AL SAFEGUARDS 197 

bitterness, I once again sounded a warning of the disastrous con- 
sequences to the Community if any of our M.L.As. allowed their 
conduct to be determined by parochial considerations. 

Lori Afountbatten — Last Viceroy 

Shortly after he assumed office as Viceroy of India, I sent Lord 
Mountbatten the following letter: 

“Your Excellency, 

I address you on behalf of the Anglo-Indian Community. I met 
Your Excellency when I was a Member of the Viceroy’s Defence 
Council. My reason for addressing Your Excellency is to request 
that, in this final stage of transfer, nothing will be done by the 
British authorities which may injure the interests of my Community. 
Few Europeans are aware of the real history of my Community 
and of the vital part we have played in the development of India's 
strategic services and in the maintenance of the stability of the 
Administration. 

Our numerical smallness makes our position in the political 
field extremely difficult. Our services to the British Administra- 
tion have added to our difficulties. We were regarded by other 
communities as the standard-bearers of British Imperialism. We 
had earned the right to expect that in the final stage the British 
authorities would not lose sight of the position of my Community. 
We did not ask for or expect any favours. 

The Cabinet Mission did a serious disservice to my Community 
by excluding us completely from the Constituent Assembly. Fortu- 
nately, this disservice was remedied by the Congress Party. An 
equally serious disservice was done to my Community by Lord 
Wavell when he ignored the recommendation of the major politi- 
cal party that my Community should be granted a seat in the 
Interim Government. My Community had hoped that the British 
might have helped us to strengthen our position. Instead, we were 
shocked when so far from rendering us any assistance Your Excell- 
ency’s predecessor struck us a gratuitous blow by deliberately ig- 
noring the recommendation of the major political party. The 
Community, is, today, straining every nerve to see that its rights are 
recognised. We sincerely hope that the Administration will do 
nothing, as was done in the recent past, to hamper or injure us in 
our present struggle for our very existence. 



198 


THE STORY OF 


ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


Allow me to wish Your Excellency a successful and happy tenure 
of office. 

With my kind regards, 

Yours sincerely, 

Sd/- Frank Anthony.” 

H.E. Rear Admiral, 

The Right Hon’ble the Viscount 
Mountbatten of Burma, K.G.,G.M.S.I., 

GCVO, KGB, DSO, ADC, 

Viceroy’s House, New Delhi 
The Viceroy sent me the following reply. 

The Viceroy’s House, 
New Delhi. 

29th March, 1947. 

“Dear Mr. Anthony, 

Thank you for your letter and good wishes. 

I think that the subject matter of your letter is so important that 
I should like to discuss it with you in person and have asked my 
Secretary to arrange an interview. 

Yours sincerely, 

Sd/- Mountbatten of Burma.” 

Frank Anthony, Esq., MLA, 

President-in-Chief, 

The Anglo-Indian Association, 

Hindustan Times Building, 

New Delhi. 

I met Lord Mountbatten on the 7th April. I gave him as 
fully as possible the background with regard to the Community 
and my efforts to secure it a place of recognition in the New India. 

I do not know to what extent Mountbatten understood the real 
position of the Community. He was concerned with coining to 
some arrangement with the major political parties. In any case, 
there was little, if anything, that he could now do since the machi- 
nery of the Constituent Assembly had already been established and 
the process of beating out a constitution was committed to that 
Assembly with which the Viceroy did not interfere. 



•nre vnuACii or our covrrrnrnosAt. sait guards 190 

About Lord Mountbaiten’s personality, however, I formed a 
pleasant impression. He had a charm and naturalness which, I 
knew, would present a striking contrast to the attitude of rigid 
protocol that infected most of the former Viceroys. \Nilh him 
disappeared the usual laboured procedure of heralding a person into 
the presence of some demi-god, the demi-god having already taken 
up an appropriate posture of pseudo-deification. Lord Mount- 
batten, however, met me at the door of his office and greeted me 
with a warm, friendly handshake. As I neared his table, he took 
up a chair and brought it for me to sit in. Had a die-liard British 
civilian been present, lie would have died of some kind of official 
apoplexy at Mountbatten’* complete informality and, according 
to sundried officialdom’s standards, very unViceroy-like behaviour. 

I realised, then, that whether Mountbatten possessed the necessary 
political education or experience would not matter, as he had with 
him many Advisers with a considerable political background. 1 
thought to myself that with his charm and informality he would 
immediately break down the barriers of reserve and even resent- 
ment that generations of British priggishness and artificial codes of 
racial snobbery had erected. Above all, Mountbatten could afford 
this informality. The British civilians were, at best, middle class 
representatives. Mountbatten represented the bluest of the blue 
blood from Britain. Whatever he did could not be stigmatised 
even by the British wives as declasse. In fact, whether it was de- 
liberately conceived or not, one of the master-strokes or British 
diplomacy was to send out a person who was a British Maha 
Brahmin (Great Brahmin) to deal with the Brahmin representatives 
of India. Mountbatten*! freedom from artificial social inhibitions 
was worth cohorts of political experts in breaking through the walls 
of Indian sensitiveness and resentment reared, over decades, by the 
self-styled aristocracy of British officialdom. At this critical stage, 
a Viceroy who yielded to the deadening hand of crusted officialdom, 
who dragged his feet in deference to the mumbo jumbo of a perverse 
social code, might easily have failed where Mountbatten succeeded. 

Edwina, Lady Mountbatten 

About a fortnight later I met Lady Mountbatten. I expected to 

be one of several invitees. When I arrived, however, I found that 

I was the only person invited to have tea with her. Few people 



200 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


could have resisted Lady Mountbatten’s complete naturalness and 
unaffected charm. She evinced a deep and intelligent interest in 
the women of the Community. She mentioned that her long as- 
sociation with the Nursing Services had given her a special interest 
in Anglo-Indian women who at that time represented the over- 
whelming majority of the nurses of India. She remarked on this 
phenomenal position of Anglo-Indian women and said that during 
her inspection, both private and official of several hospitals, she 
was struck by the fact that practically every nurse was an Anglo- 
Indian. She spoke highly of the excellence of the Anglo-Indian 
nurses. In spite of the fact that, by and large, Indian hospitals 
were hopelessly under-staffed, they could, in her opinion, compare 
with the highest standards obtaining in the West. 

Lady Mountbatten was interested in my analysis of the social 
system. I mentioned to her that in my view more bitterness had 
been created in India by an artificial, stupid social system the 
greatest architects of which were the British women in India, than 
by anything else. She appeared not unimpressed by what I re- 
garded as the genesis of this social system. I explained to her that 
before the opening of the Suez Canal in 1835, comparatively very 
few British women came out to India and that, in fact, almost up 
to the end of the 19th century even British wives were usually 
not allowed to accompany their husbands. At that time 80 to 
90 per cent of the British officials, both civilian and military, 


married Anglo-Indians and, in my view, they had done very well. 
The Anglo-Indian women were among the most beautiful in the 
world. I mentioned to her that Dupleix, the French political 
genius, had married an Anglo-Indian and so also had Warren 
Hastings. She was interested in my account of Catherine Worlee, 
the Anglo-Indian beauty who first married Grant, a member of the 
Viceroy’s Council and, later, proceeding to Europe, married Taley- 
rand, Napoleon’s Foreign Minister, and as Princess Taleyrand 
was an acclaimed international beauty of her time. My analysis 
was that when the unattached British women who came out to 
*! * a ’ W lc k re P rese ntcd an increasingly attractive marriage mart, 
with the avowed purpose of finding suitable husbands, they ran into 
l r a i °r C °. mpetition represented by the often very much 
r Ti e ;, , 0 ' n ^ !an wom cn. Self-preservation, the most power- 
iul of all motives, made them evolve a social code which elimin- 



THE MIRACLE or OUR COXSTITUnOS \L SAFEGUARDS 201 


afed this uneven competition. A social taboo was erected. This 
was enforced, progressively, with all the refinements of which only 
the feline species is capable. Lady Mounlbaiten appeared not only 
amused but interested. I do not know whether she was convinced. 
Cut she was provoked into a mildly sarcastic reference to the in- 
hibitions of the British women in India. She mentioned that on 
her way to Delhi, she had visited a hospital in Karachi. The 
European Matron of the hospital almost dropped dead when Lady 
Mountbatten insisted on shaking hands with the domestic staff. 
Such a thing was unheard of in the hide-bound code of protocol. 
Lady Mountbatten was, however, happy especially when she was 
told, later on, that many of the stafT had said that they would avoid 
washing their hands for as long as possible so that they could retain 
the honour of the handshake with the Vicereine of India. She also 
mentioned how utterly horrified some of the wives of the senior 
British officials in Delhi were when they first saw her call the 
sweeper into her lounge to attend to some necessary chores and also 
talked to him. 

My first impressions of the Mountbattens were vindicated by 
later developments. Much or Indian resentment and suspicion 
dissolved under the impact of the Mountbatten charm and friendli- 
ness. In the }ears that they were to spend in India, Lady Mount- 
batten found a special niche in the affections and esteem of peoples 
of all classes. That she was generally referred to as Edwina was the 
measure of her charm and popularity. It would not be inappro- 
priate to refer to her as the Greatest Ambassadress of Goodwill 
that Britain had ever sent to India. 

Partition 

By accepting the Viceroy’s plan, as announced on the 3rd June, 
1947, the Congress Party and the Muslim League accepted the 
Partition of India. Commenting on this, I addressed the Commu- 
nity through the President-in-chief’s page of the Anglo-Indian 
Review of July, 1947. 

- “The division of India has come. British India will be divided 
up into India and Pakistan. As I had anticipated, the Muslim 
League has got very much less than it was given by the Cabinet 
Mission's statement. Instead of the control or the whole of Bengal 
and Assam, the League flag will now only fly over Eastern Bengal 



202 


THE STORY OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


and Sylhet. In the North-West area, also, instead of the whole 
of the Punjab, only the western area has been included in Pakistan”. 
Commenting on the implications for the Community, I wrote : 
‘‘Fortunately, the Community has been saved from vivisection. 
As it is, only about 5,000 Anglo-Indians in the Punjab, 2000 in Sind 
and another 1,000 in East Bengal will fall into Pakistan." Con- 
tinuing I said, “All the resistance to our quotas in the services has 
invariably come in the Central Assembly from the Muslim Commu- 
nity. Educationally and economically the Muslims are, on an 
average, more backward than the Anglo-Indians, and have been 
largely dependent on Government service. They have always 
looked with longing eyes on the Anglo-Indian quotas. The fiercest 
attack that Sir Henry Gidney had to face was from the Muslim re- 
presentatives in the Central Assembly in 1932. Subsequently, the 
Hassan Report asked for the reduction, if not the abolition, of 
the Anglo-Indian quotas. The Post and Telegraph Department, 
today, is illustrative of Pakistan in action. Unabashed, brazen and 
fanatical communalism has led to the pitchforking, over the heads 
of others, of unqualified Muslims in the Post and Telegraph De- 
partment. Fortunately, with the reformation of the Central 
Government this process will now be stopped.” Continuing I 
said, “With division political issues have clarified. At least 95% 
of the Community will be in the Indian Union. We shall now 
have to deal with only one effective party, namely, the Congress. 
The nationalist policies of the Association, criticized by some morons 
and would-be politicians in the Community, have saved us from 
extinction. With the seats in the Constituent Assembly granted 
to us by the Congress we are fighting to secure the future of the 
Community. Further, we shall have a strong Centre. With 
partition the Cabinet Mission’s plan for a weak Centre is dead. The 
Congress Party and the Constituent Assembly arc evolving details 
that will give to India a strong centre. Our organisation, high- 
ly integrated, will be in a position, even better than before, to pro- 
tect the interests of the Community throughout the Country.” I 
concluded on this note, “Never before have we faced a more test- 
ing time in our history. Fortunately, wherever I have gone, signs 
are abundant that the Community has at last awakened to the stark 
realities that face us. Monster meetings and a rapid influx of 
membership are indicative of the realisation, late though ft may he, 



THE MIRACLE OP OUR COSSTOttmONAL SAFEGUARDS 203 

that this is the last chance Anglo-Indians have of uniting under the 
banner of the only organisation to which they owe everything and 
on which their future will depend. I realise intensely that the task 
we arc facing is a titanic one. Political forces will tend to squeeze 
minorities into a difficult position. We shall have to fight, with 
all the resources at our command, in order to secure what we regard 
as our legitimate interests and in order to ensure what we regard 
as a minimum guarantee of our culture, our language, our way of 
life and a reasonable degree of economic standards. I can only 
hope, and pray, that my task will be crowned with success. On 
that result depends the future of the Community, and, equally, the 
future of every Anglo-Indian in the Country.’* 

Framing Of The Constitution 

One of the first tasks which faced me was to get adequate repre- 
sentation for the Community in the Advisory Committee on Mino- 
rities’ Rights which was to be set up under paragraph 20 of the Cabi- 
net Mission’s formula. The Advisory Committee was to deal with 
fundamental rights and the rights of the minorities and the tribals. 
All manner of conflicting interests had to be accommodated. 
There was strong opposition by the representatives of certain 
minorities, and particularly the Indian Christians, to the Anglo- 
Indians receiving more than one seat on this important body. The 
Indian Christian spokesmen argued that while the Indian Christians, 
who were over 6 million in number, had been accorded only 4 
seats in the Advisory Committee, it would be grossly unfair to 
give the Anglo-Indians, who according to the official census were 
140,000 in number, more than one seat. I flatly refused to accept 
this proposal and underlined the fact that, according to me, the 
official explanation by Sir Stafford Cripps made it clear that the 
Advisory Committee had been set up with the specific purpose of 
giving the minorities, and particularly the smaller minorities, an 
opportunity of securing necessary guarantees in the Constitution. 
After a long discussion it was agreed to give us 2 seats in the 
Advisory Committee. This also I declined to accept. Ultimately 
it was agreed to give us 3 seats. The Sikh representatives also 
fought strenuously for the maximum of representation in this Ad- 
visory Committee, but since the Indian Christians were satisfied 
with 4 seats, the Sikhs, numerically somewhat smaller than the 



204 


THE STORY OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


Indian Christians, had ultimately to accept the same number. 

The 3 representatives for this Advisory Committee were 
selected by the Governing Body of the All-India Anglo-Indian 
Association. 

In all, 72 persons were appointed to this body. 

A Minorities’ Sub-Committee of the Advisory Committee was 
also set up consisting of about 20 members. I was also a member 
of this Sub-Committee. Matters referring to the Minorities and 
Fundamental Rights went first to this Minorities’ Sub-Committee. 

Memorandum To The Constituent Assembly 

In April, 1947, I submitted a carefully prepared Memorandum 
to the Constituent Assembly on the Anglo-Indian Community. 
It was a printed brochure of 18 pages. Among other things it 
dealt with the history of the Community, misconceptions and 
misunderstandings, our contribution to India’s development, 
fundamental rights, education and instruction in our mother- 
tongue, English, and our contribution to the future of India. 

The Constituent Assembly started its work in December, 1946, 
but it was in August, 1947, that the real fight for the existence of 
the Community began. Addressing the Community through 
‘The Review’ I said : “We are in the throes of the most critical 
period in our history. It is a challenge to the character and moral 
stamina of every Anglo-Indian.” Before August the Constituent 
Assembly had already adopted a draft model Constitution. Accor- 
ding to that model Constitution we had set out certain basic deroo- 
cractic principles. We had accepted the principle that so far as 
representation in the Central Legislature was concerned, it would be 
on the basis of one seat for approximately one million persons, and 
so ar as representation in the State Legislatures was concerned we 
had accepted the principle that there would be one seat in respect 
of approximately one hundred thousand persons. The Constitution 
was posited on adult franchise and these basic democratic principles. 
In the face of that model Constitution, because of our ultra-micro- 
scopic size, the case of the Community appeared to be not onty 
seemingly impossible but utterly hopeless. The Constitution was 
being framed on the basis of the 1941 Census. According to that 
- Cn ^! 1S wc ^ 1 } 0t have a sufficient number in a single State to 
justify even a single seat. According to the 1941 Census the 



nre initACix or ocr cosrrmm os a l s irtowtoi 


205 


largest Anglo-Indian population was in 5Vcst Bengal, namely, 
20,000: in Madras it was 10,000, in Bombay 14,000, m the t' P- 

13.000, in Bihar 5,000 and in what was then known as the C 1* 

4.000. It \sill thus be seen that on the basis of our model Consti- 
tution we were not entitled to any representation anyv. here. 

In The Minorities Committee 

Sardar Patel was the Chairman of the Advisory Committee 
on Minority Rights, w hlch was a limb, so to speak, or the Cons- 
tituent Assembly, and also of the Minorities Sub-Committee of 
the Advisory Committee. As mentioned earlier, I was a member 
of both the Advisory Committee and the Sub-Committee. The 
communities were divided into three groups : the 'A* Group con- 
sisted of the two smallest communities, the Anglo-Indians and 
Farsees who, according to the 1941 Census, had about the same 
strength, and would not be entitled to any political representation. 
The *B’ Group consisted of the Sikhs and the Indian Christians, 
each Community being about 5 to 6 million in strength. The 
*C’ Group consisted of the Muslimsand die Scheduled Castes, each 
Community being between 40 and 50 million in strength. The 
Minorities Sub-Committee started first ssith the case of the Anglo- 
Indians. Immediately I was opposed by Sidhwa one of the two 
Parsee representatives. He said that he would oppose any Anglo- 
Indian representation as a nationalist Parsec, whatever that may 
have meant. He further said that if the Anglo-Indians were given 
representation, it would not only mean fantastic weightage but 
it would encourage the Parsees also to seek similar representation. 
The fight was long, grim and bitter. The case of no other minority 
occupied so much time. Every section of the Sub-Committee was 
opposed to giving the Community any representation, because 
they said it could not be justified either by principle or logic. For 
two days I argued and re-argued, and then K.M. Munshi, a 
leading member of the Drafting Committee and one of the principal 
spokesman of the Congress Party, made me an offer of 2 scats 
in the Centre, ] in Bengal, 1 in Madras and also 1 in Bomba)'. 
He pointed out that even this offer was ultra-generous, as it meant 
giving us 2000 per cent weightage in the Centre, 300% weightage 
m Bengal, 500% weightage in Madras and even more in Bombay. As 
against this he pointed out that the Indian Christians with a popul- 



206 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

ation of over 40,000 in the C.P. were not claiming a single seat. 
I, however, expressed my inability to accept this offer. I remember 
being called upon by Sardar Patel to reply to the debate, in the 
Minorities Sub-Committee, at 4 o’clock in the evening. He 
told me that a vote would be taken by 6 p.m. I know that some- 
times some Anglo-Indians think that I am inclined to speak for 
an inordinately long period on Anglo-Indian affairs. It was a 
good thing on that occasion that I had this capacity. Rapidly I 
arranged my points. I knew that there was no hope in the 
Minorities Sub-Committee. I knew also that I had to beat the 
clock. At 6 p.m. I was still arguing the case for the Community. 
That night I pleaded with Sardar Patel to allow the Anglo-Indian 
case not to be -decided by the Minorities Sub-Committee, but to 
allow it at least to go to the Advisory Committee. The next day 
when I resumed my speech, I asked for the case to be remitted to 
the larger Committee. Sardar Patel supported my request and 
the matter was referred to the Advisory Committee. 

How The Nominations Were Secured 

In the Advisory Committee the discussion on the Anglo-Indian 
case started on the 28th August. I do not mind mentioning that 
the bitterest opposition to our case came from the Indian Christian 
representatives led by Dr H.C. Mukherjee, the de facto leader of 
the Indian Christians. He asked how they could give fantastic 
weightage to Anglo-Indians : it would mean, he said, offending the 
very democratic basis of the Constitution. I stated my case briefly, 
because I knew that my reply would have to be detailed, carefully 
planned in order to meet the attacks from every section of the 
House. As a politician and a lawyer, I knew that I had to leave 
some room for bargaining. Therefore, I proposed my resolution 
that the Anglo-Indians be given 3 seats in the Centre, 3 in Bengal, 
2 in Madras, 2 in Bombay, 1 in the U.P. and 1 in the C.P. 
My claim was tom to shreds by every section of the House. It 
was dubbed as fantastic. It was pointed out that the Sikhs with 
a population of 23,435 in the U.P. did not claim a single seat; yet 
the Anglo-Indians with a population of 4,000 in the Central Provinces 
were claiming 1 seat. It was also pointed out that the Indian 
Christians had given up all claim to representation in the U.P. where 
they were 1,31,327 and they were also not claiming any represen- 



THE MHtACiE OP CVH COXSTTIVTIOHAI SAIZGVAXDS 207 

tatton in Bengal. Mr. Munshi then repeated hi* ofTer or 2 
teats »n the Centre, 1 in Bengal, 1 in Madras and 1 in 
Bombay. Once again I expressed my inability to accept it. My 
old friend, Pandit Pant, then proposed the formula that while 
there could be no specific reservations for Anglo-Indians and 
Parsees because they were too small in number, but where they' 
failed to secure representation in the Legislature, the President 
or the Governor shall have power to nominate their representatives. 
At this stage Sardar Patel intervened: he suggested that only the 
Anglo-Indians should be given special representation by nomi- 
nation. His suggestion was accepted by the Advisory Committee. 
Thus emerged the present provisions contained in Articles 331 and 
333 of the Constitution. They were differently numbered in the 
draft Constitution. 

Our Qjtotas And Educational Grants 

But there were yet the service quotas and the educational safe* 
guards to be considered. Speaking for the Parsees, Sir Ilomi Mody 
said that they did not want any reservations in the services, but 
if the Anglo-Indians were given reservations then they would also 
claim a similar concession. The Sikh representatives fought long 
and hard for reservations which they had hitherto. The Muslims 
asked for reservations on the basis of their numbers. Dr. Ambedkar 
put forward certain specific demands for the Scheduled Castes. 
The Muslims’ case for reservations in the services was put to the 
House and voted down. I was then asked to state my case. I 
was called upon to speak at 5 p.m. I pleaded not only for reser- 
vation in the services, but alio lor our education grants- This 
lime also I would have been able to beat the clock, but there was 
general, unanimous opposition to the Anglo-Indian case. The 
feeling was that we had already been treated ultra-generously 
by being given special representation. At 5.45 p.m. someone 
moved a closure and my resolution for service quotas and 
the continuance of education grants was put to the vote. Every 
member voted against my resolution. The 3 Anglo-Indians were 
in complete isolation. I confess, without shame, that immedi- 
ately after the vote I broke down and wept, for I saw all my work 
on behalf of the Community crashing around roe. My colleagues 
were not only frustrated but gave up hope. One of my ablest 



208 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

colleagues was Stanley Prater a man of considerable experience 
and ability who had represented the Community for 17 years in 
the Bombay Legislature. He asked me to advise the Community 
to leave the Country, because he saw no hope of survival. I refused 
to accept this advice : I told my colleagues that this was not only a 
counsel of despair but of suicide for the Community: there would 
always be tens of thousands of Anglo-Indians who would not or 
could not leave the Country. At 10 o’clock that night I phoned Sardar 
Patel. He expressed deep sympathy for me, but said that nothing 
could be done as the decision was by a unanimous vote of the 
Advisory Committee. I not only pleaded with him but insisted on 
seeing him. He then asked me to see him at 5 o’clock the next 
morning. For more than an hour I walked with him in his 
garden. Perhaps I pleaded the case for the Anglo-Indian Com- 
munity with greater passionateness than ever before and with an 
earnestness born of desperation, because I realised that if the decision 
stood, then everything I had sought to achieve on behalf of the 
the Community would come to nothing. All my attempts over 
several years to find a place of recognition for the Community 
would mean nothing. I also knew the Sardar well. I knew that 
he could never be intimidated or coerced, but I made it clear to 
him that if the decision stood, then the Anglo-Indian representatives 
would have no alternative but to leave the Advisory Committee, 
as we could not be a party to a decision which spelt our destruction. 
Fortunately, the Community and the Anglo-Indian representatives 
spoke with one voice. Unlike every other community, wc were 
the only community which was completely united. Sardar Patel 
was as usual his undemonstrative, monosyllabic, sphinx-like self. 
All that he emitted was in the nature of monosyllabic grunts. My 
colleagues said that I should expect nothing. But I was not with- 
out hope, because I had worked, often very closely, with this 
‘Iron Man’ of India. But even I was not quite prepared for what 
followed the next morning. The next morning as he arrived in the 
Advisory Committee he announced to the House that he had pro- 
mised to reconsider the whole Anglo-Indian case because of certain 
new facts that I had placed before him. He said that he had given 
me his word and that he knew the Advisory Committee would 
honour his word. He, therefore, proposed that the case of the 
Community should be considered by a special Sub-Committee. 



THE MIRACLE OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL SAFEGUARDS 203 

He asked me what I had to say in the matter. I immediately mov- 
ed a resolution to the following effect, "Owing to the complete 
dependence of the economy of the Anglo-Indian Community on 
their position in certain sendees and their existing educational 
facilities a sub-committee consisting of the following members, 
report on these matters, 

‘Tandit Pant, K.M. Murohi, Mrs. Hansa Mehta, Mr. Prater 
and myself.*' 

The Education Grants 

For several weeks this Sub-Committee sat and considered our 
case. I did not ltave very much trouble with regard to the quotas. 
The proposal, as I made it, was accepted and later embodied in 
Article 336 of the Constitution. But I had much more difficulty 
with the educational grants. K.M. Munshi suggested a formula 
by which the gap between the percentage of the approved expendi- 
ture paid by the Government to Anglo-Indian schools and the per- 
centage of the approved expenditure to similar schools of other 
communities should be done away within a period of a few yean. 
I expressed my inability to accept this. I pointed out that there 
was no definite interpretation of the term ‘approved.* The 
Government approved expenditure in respect of boarding in Anglo- 
Indian Schools, whereas this was not an approved item in the non- 
Anglo-Indians schools. The formula based on the term ‘approved’ 
would have led to the wholesale immediate reduction of our grants. 
Ultimately, I proposed that the present Central and Provincial 
grams to Anglo-Indian education may be reduced by 10% at inter- 
vals of3J years provided that the amount in no case would be below 
the per capita grant to similar schools maintained by other commu- 
nities and that the matter should be reviewed at the end of 10 
years. The non-Anglo-Indian members of the Sub-Committee 
insisted on cutting down the period from 3J to 3 years. This pro- 
posal was then accepted by the Sub-Committee and went back to 
the Advisory Committee on Minority Rights. 

The proposal with regard to our quotas went through without 
much opposition in the Advisory Committee on Minorities’ Rights. 
But when the formula with regard to our educational grants came 
up for discussion, I was suddenly faced with strong and general 
opposition. -M.S. Aney, formerly a member of the Central 



210 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


Government and Leader of the House, objected to the word 
‘review’. He felt that all the inequalities and privileges should 
automatically cease at the end of ten years. This opposition rais- 
ed a hornets’ nest. Prof. K.T. Shah, who was known for his anti- 
Christian sentiments, wanted our special grants to cease immediately. 
He made a bitter denunciation of missionary schools. He asked 
whether Government was going to subsidise institutions which cover- 
tly, and sometimes overtly, were nothing but agencies for conversion. 
He made a powerful appeal to the sentiments of some or the members 
who very near to the surface were always bitterly anti-missionary 
and certainly anti-conversion. And on this issue not only the caste 
Hindus, but the Scheduled Castes are agreed. To this I replied 
that I was not pleading for missionary institutions : that it was only 
an accident that some of them were Anglo-Indian schools. I was 
pleading for the Community and the Community is not a commu- 
nity interested in conversion, because we are Christians by birth 
and origin and not by conversion. I could feel the sense of the 
House steadily rising against me. Once again Dr. H.C. Mukhetjee, 
the Indian Christian leader, got up. Even at that time he was rather 
old. He was then about 75 years of age and yet his memory reach- 
ing back 60 years was still bitter. He said that when he was a boy, 
he had been refused admission into an Anglo-Indian school. In 
answer to this, my reply was that I had been the bitterest opponent 
or the racial and anti-Indian complexes in some Anglo-Indian 
schools. But I realised that if a vote was taken, our grants would 
6 °'. So .8°* U P and said that I was prepared to accept the pro- 
V “ lon ' v f“ thl ; " ord ‘review’ removed, but that I would ask for 
t e wo may to be retained. Sardar Patel, without putting it to 
* c M,d *hat he took it that since I had made this concession 
aua "° Uld aCCCpt ‘ hc P rovision without the word ‘review’, 
and he declared the provision to be unanimously adopted. My 
resolution, as amended, later appeared as Article 337 of the Con- 


Resioralion Of Quotas 

Although the Advisory Committee had accepted my proposal to 
conunuc the quotas that the Community enjoyed in the Railways, 
7 | cl T a ^ S and thc Cu5tom3 - ‘he Constitution had not 
been finalised. The Government of India Act and with it thc 



TlfC SEIRACLE OP OVR COSSTTTtmOSAL SAfECtMKDS 21 1 

safeguards for the Community had been rescinded by the India 
Independence Act which had been pawed by the British Parliament 
in 1947. Consequently our quotas were no longer being given to us. 
I addressed Sardar Patel pointing out that the Government had 
accepted the principle of the continuance of the former quotas and 
that even a temporary lapse would adversely affect the economy of 
the Community. On the 29th March, 1947, I was informed by 
the Home Minister, Sardar Patel, that the Government had decided 
to restore the reservations in favour of the Anglo-Indians in the Rail- 
way, Posts & Telegraph and Customs Departments. 

A Tribute 

Stanley Prater, M.L.A., O.B.E., J.P., C.M.Z.S., was one of the 
ablest representatives that the Community has ever produced. He 
represented the Community for 17 yean in the Legislature of the 
then Bombay State. In the Constituent Assembly he was my 
principal lieutenant. More than anyone else, he was aware of the 
hard, almost impossible, road that had been travened in order to 
secure the provisional acceptance of the guarantees for the Commu- 
nity. 

Welcoming me at a meeting of the Community in Bombay, 
Prater said, ‘'Before I say anything else, I wish to welcome our 
President-in-Chief to Bombay and to say how happy we are to have 
him with us this evening.” 

“Mr. Anthony comes to us fresh with the laurels of his work in 
the Constituent Assembly. What that svork svas and what it im- 
plies to the Community, Mr. Anthony will tell you presently. I, 
who was associated with him in the task, can tell you something 
about which he will not speak. The more I worked with him 
through those difficult days, the more I came to realise how deep 
was his devotion to the Community; how unyielding was his purpose 
and determination; how tireless his labours in our cause. In all 
its long and chequered history never has the Community faced so 
grave a crisis — a crisis involving its very existence. No Anglo- 
Indian leader has ever had the odds so heavily cast against him. 
Yet Mr. Anthony won through. His far-sighted policy, his genius 
and ability have won for the Community a breathing space — a 
vital necessary period in which it can adjust itself to the radically 
changed conditions in the India of today.” 



212 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


“Sir, from the bottom of our hearts we thank you for all you have 
done. May God bless and prosper your work." 

It is a sad thought that before the Constitution was finalised, 
Prater persuaded himself that there were mounting signs of Hindu 
revivalism and implacable resistance to the provisional safeguards 
for the minorities. In the belief that I was bound to fail in the final 
run, he resigned from the Constituent Assembly and migrated to 
the U.K. Although over twenty years my senior, while he worked 
alongside of me Prater gave me not only highly informed co- 
operation but unswerving loyalty. 

Prater was a typical Anglo-Indian. On hearing in the U.K. of 
Gandhijis murder, he wrote me a deeply moving letter. In his 
words, he wrote that letter with tears not only in his eyes but in his 
heart. 

I had occasion to meet Prater on my subsequent visits to the U.K. 
He was never happy in the U.K. : in fact, psychologically he was 
deeply unhappy. He had achieved an outstanding position in 
his own profession as the world-famous curator of the Bombay 
Museum. Before he decided to leave India, I had secured for him 
the offer of the Headship of the Government of India Museum in 
New Delhi. In the U.K. he could find neither recognition nor 
respect for his abilities. He had to accept a post as a humble clerk 
in some office. For a year before he died, he suffered from a form 
of melancholia and would not talk to anyone. I believe he died as 
a broken-hearted exile. 


An Interlude — Mehr Ckand Khanna 
Towards the end of November, 1947, I was asked by the Prime 
Minister Jawaharlal Nehru whether I would proceed to Peshawar 
11 \ defend Mehr Chand Khanna, the ex-Finance Minister 

of the N.YV.F.P. No Hindu lawyer dared go to Peshawar and 
perhaps no lawyer belonging to any other community. At first 
I thought the Prime Minister wished to engage me in my pro- 
fessional capacity. When I met him, I quoted what I regarded 
would be a reasonable fee. The Prime Minister, however, told 
me, quite frankly, that he was asking me to do this as a personal 
favour. When he put it to me in that way, I accepted his request. 
A special chartered plane was placed at my disposal. The only 
occupants were myself, BM. Haul, an official in the External 



Tire MIRACLE OP OV R COSSTTTVTIOSAL SAFEGUARDS 


213 


Aflain Ministry and Jater our Ambassador in Sweden and my 
servant. When we arrived in Peshawar, we were met by Pakistani 
officials who drove us to the leading hotel. I was provided with an 
armed escort After a bath and breakfast I asked Kaul to contact 
the Governor, Sir George Cunningham. I spoke to the Governor 
and asked for an interview which he promptly gave me. At the 
interview I pointed out to the Governor that I felt that the charges 
against Khanna were of a trumpery character. Khanna was be- 
ing prosecuted under the Arms Act for the possession, without a 
licence, of a cartridge refiller. I emphasised the fact that the charge 
svould be farcical but for the fact that the sentence which Khanna 
was facing was seven years’ rigorous imprisonment. I also pointed 
out that Pakistan had only recently introduced an Arms Act. 
Under the Indian Arms Act, although the provisions requiring a 
licence for guns were rigorous, there was no provision which re- 
quired a licence for a cartridge refiller. To apply such a require* 
ment in the N.W.F. Province was, in my opinion, to pull the politi- 
cal long bow unduly. I pointed out to Cunningham that in the 
N AV.F. Province not only cartridge refillcrs but arms of all kinds were 
openly carried and without any licence. He confessed to me that 
there was little he could do and that Khanna’s arrest and impend- 
ing prosecution were nothing short of a political vendetta on the part 
of the Chief Minister, Abdul Qayum Khan. I pointed out to him 
that he was supposed to be the trustee of minority interests and that 
at least in this case he should exercise his trust on behalf of Khanna 
who was a member of the minority Hindu Community. Cunnin- 
gham, however, regretfully expressed his inability to do anything. 

I then asked Kaul to contact Qayum Khan. I had known 
Qayum Khan for several years, when he and I were both members 
of the Central Legislature. He was, at one time, the Deputy 
Leader of the Congress Party in the Central Legislature. That was 
before the Muslim League had reached a peak of political power. 
Qayum Khan ultimately went over to the Muslim League. Like 
many converts, political and religious, he exhibited greater fanati- 
cism than those of the original faith. My recollections of Qayum 
Khan of the former days were pleasant. He was an easy mixer and 
a person with a bluff, friendly manner- Kaul, acting as my Secre- 
tary, contacted Qayum Khan’s Secretary twice or three times. On 
each occasion he gat the same message that the Chief Minister was 



214 


THE STORT Or THE ANGLO-INDIAN COHIIUNITT 


busy. Qayum Khan obviously knew that I had come on behalf 
of Mchr Chand Khanna. I then tried to contact Qayum Khan 
personally. His P.A. repeated the stereotyped reply. I was then 
convinced that Qayum Khan was stalling and that he was deliberate- 
ly evading a meeting with me. 

I drove straight to the Secretariat and went to the Chief Minis- 
ter’s room. I was stopped outside by Government minions who 
asked whether I had an appointment. I told them that 1 did not, 
but that I was a very old friend of the Chief Minister and had come 
to see him on an urgent matter. I sent in my card. 1 was wonder- 
ing whether Qayum Khan would find an excuse for avoiding an 
interview with me. In a way I was surprised when he literally 
burst out of his office and came forward to meet me in his typical 
warm-hearted manner. 


Inside his office he was all hospitality and began to recall the 
days when we were colleagues in the Central Legislature. I found 
him as likeable as ever. I then came straight to the question of 
Mehr Chand’s arrest. He asked me not to discuss it. I told him 
tliat I had been specially deputed not only by the Prime Minister 
but by Sardar Patel to do my utmost to get Mehr Chand Khanna 
released. Qayum Khan was nothing if he svas not forthright. He 
told me that he had no intention of releasing Khanna. In fact, 
he intended that he should get the maximum sentence. With all 
the seriousness I could command I then told Qayum Khan precise- 
ly what I been told by the Sardar, that if Mehr Chand Khanna was 
not released the Sardar would be obliged to treat in a similar 
manner leading members of the Muslim League who were in India. 

strenuously pleaded with Qayum Khan not to add further bitter- 
ness to an already deeply embittered position. I pointed out to 
him that this was a game at which both sides could play; there were 
many more ostages to be found among the millions of Muslims in 
ndia. I could sec that the threat of Sardar Patel had dearly 
• ei ®. e .'T' t . Q. a y um Khan. He then insisted that I should have 
c wit m. Jocularly I expressed the hope that there would 
he no poison administered with my lunch. After lunch he asked 
“ CC °™ pany him on a sh °« tour that he was undertaking. I 
asked him the nature of it. He was quite frank. He said that he 
was organising the tribesmen to go into Kashmir; that he regarded 
the Kashmir problem as a personal fight between himself and 



HIE MIRACLE OF OUR COVSTTTimONAL SAFEGUARDS 215 


Jawaharlal Nehru, he being a Kashmiri Muslim and Nehru a 
Kashmiri Hindu. Naturally, I declined the invitation. 

1 had already seen Mehr Chand Khanna immediately on my 
arrival to get the facts from him. He was extremely dubious about 
ever getting out of Peshawar. He emphasized that the charge 
against him was entirely trumpery; he did not even know how many 
guns he possessed, but he had licences for all of them. After my 
lunch with Qxyutn Khan I went back to see Mehr Chand who was 
locked up in the Peshawar JaiJ. I remember standing in the door- 
way of his cell talking to him when he suddenly pulled me down on 
to his bed. He said that standing in the doorway I offered a provoca- 
tive target to some trigger-happy tribesman. I told him about my 
interview with Qayum Khan and expressed my belief that he would 
be released. The same day I left Peshawar. 

Immediately after my arrival, 1 drove to the Prime Minister's 
residence and told hun precisely what had happened. I then 
drove to see Sardar Patel and gave him a first-hand account. Short- 
ly afterwards Mehr Chand Khanna was released. I have little 
doubt that the Sardar’s promise of reciprocity of treatment had a 
salutary effect. Mehr Chand later became the Minister for Re- 
habilitation and Refugee Relief in the Central Cabinet. He has 
always been deeply appreciative of my role in securing his release. 
He was primarily responsible when he was a Minister in the Union 
Cabinet for getting me the land on which the Frank Anthony 
Public School, New Delhi, standi. One of the four Houses in the 
school is named after him — Khanna House. 

Mahatma Gandhi's Assassination 

I had secured provisional acceptance of certain guarantees under 
conditions which represented nothing short of a miracle. On the 
30th January, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. I realised 
immediately the consequence of that senseless crime. There was a 
tremendous revulsion or feeling against any form of separate re- 
presentation to the minorities. Unfortunately, the Sikh leader- 
ship was at that time particularly militant. Certain of the pro- 
minent Sikh leaders were demanding a separate Sikh State. This 
gave a perfect handle to the coram una Lists from the majority com- 
munity to demand, under the guise of nationalism, the withdrawal 
of all minority safeguards. The whole question of the minorities 



216 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

was thrown back into the melting pot, at any rate so far as re- 
presentation was concerned. Although the draft Constitution had 
given representation to the minorities on the basis of reservation 
of seats in a system of joint electorates, the whole question was 
reopened. 

Every other minority except the Anglo-Indians was divided in its 
approach and in its policies. I approached Jawaharlal Nehru and 
Sardar Patel and told them that so far as we were concerned, we 
could not accept a position which meant resiling from what had 
already been granted to us provisionally and after a great deal of 
careful and detailed consideration. The matter was raised before 
the Advisory Committee on Minority Rights and it was decided that 
all representation for the minorities should be abolished. Before 
the resolution withdrawing representation to the minorities was put 
to the vote, I got up and sought a clarification from both Pandit 
Nehru and Sardar Patel. Both Jawaharlal Nehru and the Sardar 
made it clear that this resolution would not afTect the provisions 
accepted on behalf of the Anglo-Indians for their representation was 
specially granted to them by nomination. 

Many newspapers, however, reported that the resolution adopted 
abolishing the reserved scats for all the communities except the 
Scheduled Castes involved the abolition of the provisions on behalf 
of the Anglo-Indian Community. These wrong reports led to near 
confusion and dismay in the Community. I was inundated by 
messages of indignation from Anglo-Indians. I immediately issued a 
statement clarifying the position, pointing out that the Anglo-Indian 
provisions had not been affected as we had been singled out for 
exceptional constitutional safeguards. 

16th June — 1949 

The 16 th of June, 1949, marked a red-letter day in the history of 
the Community. On that day the Constituent Assembly finally 
adopted Articles 297 and 298 as they were then known. These 
were later numbered as Articles 336 and 337, giving the Commu- 
nity quotas in the services and guarantees in respect of education. 
But until the actual adoption by the Constituent Assembly of these 
Articles I could not be certain of the position. About 20 leading 
members of the Constituent Assembly, mostly from the Congress 

arty, had given notice of amendments ranging from complete 



Tilt MIRACLE or OCR CONSTUVnONAL lAtEOUARDS 21? 

abolition to at least a serious whittling down or these provisions. 
Fortunately, I was a member of the Consultative Committee of the 
Constituent Assembly, which was a Select inner Committee, con- 
sisting of a limited number of leaders. I also canvassed the members 
or the Drafting Committee and certain of the other front-rank 
leaden of the Congress Party. /Vs a result of this behind-the-scenes 
activity I was able to persuade all the members who had given notice 
of their amendments, to withdraw them. On die morning of the 
16th June the Articles were formally moved by Dr. Ambcdkar: 
the 20 odd members withdrew their amendments. I intervened 
to make a short speech. I thanked the members of the House for 
their generosity and understanding. 

25lh August — 1949 

On the 25th August, 1919, the Constituent Assembly finally 
adopted the two remaining provisions relating to the Anglo-Indians 
namely, Articles 293 and 295 (now renumbered as Articles 33 1 and 
333) referring to the nomination of Anglo-Indians to the House of 
the People and the Provincial Legislatures. 

A Further Safeguard 

Just before the adoption of the Constitution on the 26th November, 
1949, in its finalised form I was able to get an addition to the 
guarantees on behalf of the Anglo-Indian Community’. The 4 
provisions already adopted only referred to what was formerly 
known as British India. There were no guarantees for Anglo- 
Indians in the former Princely States. It was fortunate for the 
Country, and especially fortunate for us, that before the third reading 
stage of the Constitution the Princely States decided to integrate and 
to surrender their powers to frame their constitutions to the Consti- 
tuent Assembly. Once again, I approached my friends in the 
Drafting Committee to make two amendments. In one Article I 
had the words ‘Raj Pramukh of the State’ added. This was the 
Article providing for nomination to the State Legislatures. Up 
till then the only word used was ‘Governor*. By adding the 
words *Raj Pramukh’ the Anglo-Indians of Mysore, Hyderabad 
and Travancore-Cochin would get representation. 

The position facing the Community in the different Princely 
States was indicated by the attitude of the Mysore Constituent 



218 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


Assembly. In the Mysore State, which includes Bangalore, there 
was a comparatively large concentration of Anglo-Indians. Yet 
the Mysore Constituent Assembly, before integration, had decided 
not to give the Anglo-Indians any guarantees in respect of em- 
ployment or education and also not to give the Community any 
kind of political representation. I also got another amendment 
put into the provision with regard to educational grants. Up till 
then this provision only referred to the ‘Part A’ States, that is, to 
those States which formed part of British India. I had the expre- 
ssion, ‘Part B’ added to this amendment, so that the Anglo-Indian 
schools in the former States of Hyderabad, Mysore and Travancore- 
Cochin would continue to get grants. 

7 tie Lesson OJ Unity 

The supreme lesson of those critical days was the lesson of our 
survival because of our unity through the Association. Every other 
community failed, because the spokesmen of every other community 
spoke with divided voices. The Parsee representatives, Sidhwa 
and Homi Mody, opposed each other. The Indian Christians, in 
my view, never counted for anything at any time. They asked for 
nothing and they got nothing. All that they seemed to be interested 
in was to see that the Anglo-Indians got nothing. The Sikhs were 
divided : the Scheduled Castes were divided : the Muslims were 
divided. We survived in a unique way because, and only because, 
we were completely united. The 3 Anglo-Indian representatives 
were all nominees of the All-India Anglo-Indian Association : 
my two colleagues worked with me loyally : they allowed me to speak 
on behalf of the Community and they supported every word and 
action or mine. What we lacked in numbers wc made up for in 
cohesion. ^ The ‘Christian Democrat’, a well-known Indian 
Christian journal, commenting on the safeguards that I had been 
able to secure, said, “Union is strength. It is also something more. 
Union is— above all things— union, and now more than ever at 
any other time, we (Indian Christians) run the risk of succumbing 
to the poison contained in the saying that if we do not hang together, 
we shall hang separately. And, what is more, it is true. If proof 
was needed of the necessity, nay the effectiveness, of a single autho- 
ritative body to represent as well as to advocate individual claims, 
the achievements of the Association that represents the microscopic 



219 


■ntc mi rac ix or ocr coNrmrnovAL *ateovardi 

community of Anglo-Indian* need only be quoted. Here "' e have 
an Association tliat would have suited our purpose admirably. It is 
well organised, welt conducted and well run. It is moreover an all- 
India organisation and has, within the limitations of its present 
scope and objectives, secured for its members as "ell as for the 
members of its community, advantages unparalleled in the history 
of like Associations in India. Unfortunately, the provision of it* 
constitution, and the name by which it is known, exclude all other* 
but the Anglo-Indians and the Domiciled Europeans from its list of 
membership.’* 

Representation In legislatures Extended 
Article 334 of the Constitution is a composite provision prescribing 
the period for which the special representation by nomination for 
the Anglo-Indians and the special reservations or scats for the 
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes would continue. Under 
the original Article the special representation to these groups would 
cease to have effect on the expiration of 10 years from the commence- 
ment of the Constitution. The Constitution having come into 
efTect in 1950, this meant that our special representation would 
cease in I960. Because of the then forthcoming mid-term elections 
in Kerala, the question of amending this Article became urgent. If 
an amendment was acceptable to Government, it had to be passed 
not only by the end of 1959 but as early as possible, as under Article 
368 of the Constitution any amendment which affects representa- 
tion or the States in Parliament has to be ratified by the Legislatures 
of not less than one-half of the States before the amending bill is 
presented to the President for his assent, 

I discussed the whole question of the extension of our safeguards 
with Pantji, the Home Minister, in 1959. I counted Pantji as one 
of my real friends. Our relations were most cordial. Seldom, 
if ever, did he refuse me any reasonable request. Unfortunately, 
because of developments on the language front our relations became 
strained. Pantji was the Chairman of the Joint Committee elected 
in 1958 by both Houses of Parliament, under Article 334(4) of the 
Constitution. It was known as the Parliamentary Language 
Committee. In another chapter I have referred to the fact that to 
the report of the Committee I wrote the only minute of dissent. 
All the other members, including the members from the South such 



220 


THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COJIMUOTIY 


as Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar, had signed the report which had 
accepted, in effect, the effacing of English From the official language 
pattern of the Country by 1965. This was a period of deep anxiety 
for me. Pantji had asked me, more than once, to sec him in an 
effort to get me to withdraw my minute of dissent and to join the 
others in signing the report. Much as I respected Pantji, I in- 
formed him that it would be impossible for me to do so. For him 
it would have been a unique achievement to secure a unanimous 


report from members representing all the States and the major 
linguistic groups. I knew that by standing out and by resisting 
every pressure to sign the report, I would perhaps be creating 
bitter political hostility. I knew that within a short time I would 
have to approach the leaden, especially Nehru and Pant, if I 
wanted the continuance of our Constitutional safeguards which were 
due to expire in 1960. I knew also that by holding out on the 
language issue I would be putting in jeopardy the continuance of 
our safeguards. All these factors had to be carefully weighed by 
me before I decided to stand out, alone, on the language issue. 

I concluded that it would be pointless to get the continuance of 
our representation in the Legislature, the continuance of our quotas 
hi the Services and the continuance of our educational grants, if 
be banished from the official language pattern by 
1965. The effacing of English would mean the destruction of our 
schools, in which context any educational grants would be not only 
meaningless but a mocking irony. Representation in the Legisla- 
ture would be meaningless because there would be nothing to 
represent. Without our language, without our schools, it would 
be only a question of time before the Community was destroyed as 
a recognised or recognisable entity. Apart fium the position of the 
Community, I have always believed that if English is removed as a 
lmk language in higher education all semblance of national integra- 
bon wiU disappear. In that event India will represent merely a 
geographical description. I, therefore, stood out alone on the 
J* « ‘his context that I had to approach 
both Nehru and Pant for the extension or our safeguards. 

1 7* n ' VCr har *K>ured any kind of personal animus. At the 
exrent tt/xf* v** n0 * interested in any particular minority 

coZ^r r', * ** • wee P & W. I wiU not say amorphous, 

concept of secular democracy he felt that such safeguards tended 



221 


THE UIKACLE Of OCR CONSTTIVTIOSM. SAfEGl.' ARDS 

to perpetuate sectarianism. He did not have the time or periapt 
the inclination to study the special needs and difficulties of a comma* 
nity like the Anglo-Indians. 

During my meetings with Pantji, l senses! a certain bitterness. 

I could not resist the conclusion that he had not forgotten or for- 
given my lone resistance in the Parliamentary language Committee 
and my solitary minute of dissent, lie made it clear that he at 
least would not be prepared to recommend the continuance of our 
Constitutional safeguards : as Home Minister be would have to 
pilot an amending bill. 

I then submitted notes to the Cabinet with regard to the extension 
of our safeguards. I proposed to the Government certain amend- 
ments to Article 33G which dealt with our quotas. 1 asked that 
instead of the word ‘shall* the word ‘may* be substituted, so that 
at an interval of two yean there may be a reduction of 10%. It 
would thus be within the discretion of the Central Government 
whether to reduce our service quotas or not. I pointed out that 
there was still large-scale unemployment in the Community. I 
also mentioned that the continuance of Article 336 would merely 
mean giving to the Community the quotas which, in fact, we 
should have got during the past ten yean. I referred to the fact 
that there had been a considerable gap between the reservations 
and the vacancies filled. I also underlined the notable sen-ices that 
the Community had rendered in building the great national assets 
of the Railways, the Telegraphs and the Customs during the diffi- 
cult pioneering dap. I pointed out that the Community had 
developed certain special aptitudes for these services over a long 
period. Above all, I stressed that the recruitment of memben of 
the Community would give to these sendees continuing stability 
and ballast. 

In my note with regard to the continuance of educational grants 
I pointed out that our schools, under the guidance of the Inter- 
State Board for Anglo-Indian Education, had taken their place in 
the vanguard of the general educational pattern of the Country. 
Anglo-Indian schools were the first to subscribe to the three-language 
formula. Above all, I underlined the fact that without our 
indigent grants a large number of less fortunate Anglo-Indian 
children would be without education. 

Pantji was, however, not disposed to accept any of my pleas 



222 am story or the anglo-indian community 

with regard to the continuance of our safeguards in respect of the 
services and education. He, however, gave me the assurance that 
if it was decided to continue the special safeguards for representation 
of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, the Anglo- 
Indian provisions with regard to nomination to Parliament and the 
State Legislatures would also be continued. 

I kept in close touch with the Congress Parliamentary Committee 
which was appointed to go into the question of the continuance of 
the special representation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled 
Tribes. On several occasions, I met the Cliairman and other 
members of the Committee. The Congress Parliamentary Com- 
mittee recommended the extension of the period of the safeguards 
for only 5 years. Strong pressure was, however, brought to bear 
to extend the period by 10 yean which was accepted. 

In my further discussions with Pantji, he asked me to accept 
certain modifications to the Anglo-Indian safeguards so that the 
number of the nominations to the State Legislatures would be 
fixed. The reason he gave was that the Central Government wanted 
to ensure that no State Government from mala fide motives could 
nominate a large number of Anglo-Indians in order merely to 
maintain itself in power. 1 saw nothing unreasonable in this and 
agreed. 

The Constitution (Eighth Amendment) Bill, 1959, was introduced 
by Pantji in the Lok Sabha, It contained three clauses: the first 
was merely the enacting clause and the long title : the second clause 
sought to make an amendment in Article 333 to the effect that not 
more than two members of the Anglo-Indian Community would be 
nominated in the case of West Bengal and in the case of any other 
State one member of the Community: the third clause sought to 
substitute the period “20 years” for “10 years” : this was because 
the 10-year period expired in I960 and the 20-ycar period would 
mean that the special representation would carry on till 1970. 

Under the proviso to Article 334, the period would, in fact, 
terminate in 1972 as the sitting members nominated in 1967 w’ould 
continue for the full legislative term of 5 years. 

When the amending bill came before Parliament there was not 
inconsiderable opposition to the continuance of the provisions 
for the Anglo-Indians. From the Congress Party, Thakur Das 
-Bhargava, a senior member, opposed the continuance of the Anglo- 



THE MIRACLE OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL SAFEGUARDS 223 

Indian nominations. Another leading member of the P.S.P., 

S. N. Dwivedy, also joined in this opposition. Hiren Mukherji, a 
leader of the Communist group, who as a person I like very much 
indeed, also opposed the provision for Anglo-Indian nominations. 
Hiren Mukherji made the criticism that the Community had not 
yet adjusted itself and did not deserve the continuance of this 
special safeguard. Replying to him, I said that whatever the 
Community’s failings, which we had in common with the 
other communities, it had made and continued to make a contribu- 
tion to the progress of the Country out or all proportion to its siic. 
I referred among other things to the outstanding and indeed 
decisive role of the Anglo-Indian lighter pilots in the Kashmir 
campaign. I mentioned that the need for the continuance of 
representation was to watch over, especially, the educational in- 
terests of the Community. 

The Communists sought, through an amendment introduced by 

T. C.N. Menon, to amend Article 333 so that the nominations 
would not rest with the Governor, but would be made in pursuance 
of the recommendations of the leader of the majority party or that 
of the biggest single party in the State Legislature. 

Speaking in the House, I strongly opposed the Communist 
amendment. I pointed out that the provisions were given to the 
Anglo-Indian Community and were not meant for the benefit of 
any political party in power. I mentioned that in Kerala, where 
there was a Communist Government enjoying an extremely preca- 
rious majority, they deliberately ignored the needs of the Community 
and the representative character of the person recommended for 
nomination. I mentioned that I had secured the original provision 
in the Constitution placing nomination in the hands of the Governor, 
because the Governor was supposed to exercise this power as part of 
his discretionary powers : he was supposed to ensure that the person 
or persons nominated represent the Anglo-Indian Community and 
not the party in power or any political group. 

Pantji also declined to accept the Communist amendment. 
When the voting was taken there were not sufficient members 
present in the House to secure the required majority. Article 368 
of the Constitution requires a Constitution amending bill to be 
passed in each House of Parliament by a majority of the total 
membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two- 



224 


nrc stout or nns Anglo-Indian communist 


thirds of the members of that House present and voting. The 
Speaker pcwtponed the voting to the following day. 

The Communists, after hurried consultations with S.N. Dwivedy, 
suddenly decided to oppose Clause 2 sshich referred to Anglo- 
Indian representation in the State Legislatures. Trom their audible 
deliberations it was clear that they were under the impression that 
if they opposed Clause 2 and the requisite majority was not forth- 
coming, the Anglo-Indian Community would get no representation 
in the Slate Legislatures. The voting was taken. Because of the 
opposition by the Communists and others Clause 2 was defeated as 
there svas not a sufficient number in the House to carry the Govern- 
ment proposal. In an attempt to explain assay their motis-es, 
T.CN. Men on rose in the House and said that the Communists 
were not in fact opposed to the Anglo-Indian nominations to the 
State legislatures, but they were opposed to it in its present form, 
because they warned the nominations to lie in the hands of the 
ruling party and not ssith the Gosrmor. Quite obviously, T.C.N. 
Menon and lus felloss -Communists had not understood the signifi- 
cance of their opposing Clause 2. AH that Clause 2 sought svas to 
limit the number of nominations of Anglo-Indians to two in West 
Bengal and one in the other States. When it came to Clause 3, 
which svas a general clause, namely, that for the word “10” in 
Article 331 of the Constitution, the word “20" shall be substituted, 
the Communists dare not oppose it because this affected not only 
the Anglo-Indians but the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled 
Tribes. All the parties pay competing lip-service to the needs of 
the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Their solicitude is 
not uninfluenced by the voting strength of the Scheduled Castes 
and Scheduled Tribes who, today, number about MO million. 
With the passage of Clause 3, the Anglo-Indian nominations were 
automatically extended. 

The net result was that while the Communists intended to throw 
out the Anglo-Indian nominations to the State Legislatures, by 
voting against Clause 2 they, in fact, restored the Anglo-Indian 
nominations to their original form, namely, that the Governor will 
nominate to a State Legislature, and the number is not fixed but 
rests in his discretion. 

There were many members in the House who were also under 
the same impression as the Communists and sought to commiserate 



THE MIRACLE O T OCR CONSTmJTJOXAL SAFEGUARDS 225 

with tnc on the loss of the Anglo-Indian nominations to the State 
Legislatures. 

I promptly explained to them that not only was there no loss, 
but the Communists, without intending it, had given the Anglo- 
Indians the continuation of their nominations in the State Legis- 
latures without any limitation. When I explained the significance 
of their actions to the Communist members in Parliament, their 
chagrin was obvious. 

If the Communists had not joined to defeat the Government 
proposal contained in Clause 2, the Anglo-Indians would only 
have got 2 seats at the most in West Bengal. But because Clause 
2 was defeated, the anginal position was restored and the Commu- 
nity has continued to have 4 members nominated by the Governor 
to the West Bengal Legislature. 

With regard to this matter of nominations, I am bound to pay 
tribute to the democratic sense of the CongTess Party. In this 
respect they have compared favourably with the British authorities 
who, despite their many shortcomings, had a basic sense of demo- 
cratic decency. Although some British members of the Viceroy’s 
Executive Council hated my political guts because of my constant 
criticism of their policies of discrimination, they recognised the 
uniquely representative character of the AU-India Anglo-Indian 
Association ; they recognised the fact that I was the undisputed 
leader of the Community. The Congress Government at the Centre 
has unhesitatingly accepted this position and nominated 2 
representatives of the Community to Parliament on the recommen- 
dation of the All-India Anglo-Indian Association. Both of us sit 
in the Opposition and, for many years, I have sat in the front rank 
of the Opposition. 

The Communists, however, have never been worried by demo- 
cratic niceties. In Kerala the Communist Government once nomi- 
nated a person who was an avowed Feringi. In West Bengal, the 
Communist-dominated Government, with Ajoy h lukherjee as a front, 
deliberately and, indeed, dishonestly, side-tracked the Association in 
1967. In West Bengal, the AU-India Anglo-Indian Association is parti- 
cularly powerful : in fact, there is no other Anglo-Indian Association 
in West Bengal. The Communist-dominated Government resorted 
to a device which b typical of Communist techniques : they insbted 
on the Anglo-Indian nominees signing a bond of allegiance to the 



226 THE STOET OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

ruling party. This was something unheard of in the history of 
our nominations. After having secured the bond, they nominated 
persons who, except for one, represented no one but themselves. 
Two of them were members of the All-India Anglo-Indian Associa- 
tion. They were promptly expelled by the Association for having 
accepted nomination against the Association’s nominees. The way 
in which the Communists have stultified and, indeed, prostituted 
our solemn Constitutional guarantees is an ominous portent of 
what the smaller minorities may expect from their totalitarian and 
unprincipled methods. 

The Governors, who made the nominations on the dictation of 
the Communist and Communist-dominated Governments, cannot 
also escape their share of blame. When I had these provisions put 
info the Constitution I had deliberately asked that the responsibility 
should vest in the Governor who would exercise this power as 
part of lus discretionary powers. A responsible Governor would 
then be able to ensure that the Angto-Indian nominees are really 
representative of the Community and not pawns or stooges in a game 
of unprincipled power-politics. 

By abdicating their discretion and becoming rubber-stamping 
agencies, some Governors also have to be blamed for the stultifica- 
tion of the guarantee by Communist-dominated State Governments. 

On two occasions at least, once in Kerala and more recently in 
Uttar Pradesh, the Governors did not allow the Communists or 
some motley political combination to stultify the Anglo-Indian 
guarantees. They exercised their discretion to nominate the 
person recommended by the All-India Angto-Indian Association, 
which is the only body representative of the Community throughout 
the Country. 



CHAPTER X 


THE SPORTSMEN AND THE 
SPORTSWOMEN OF INDIA 


Builders Of Key Services 


I N spite of its numerical smallness the Anglo-Indian Community 
bestrode the sporting world or India like a Colossus. For many 
decades the Community maintained a towering superiority in the 
field of sport. 

Hockey is the national game par excellence. As recently as 
May, I960, A.F.S. Talyarkhan, the internationally famous sports 
commentator, wrote in The Times of India: “India’s hockey grew 
thanks to the greatest hockey-playing entity the world will ever 
know, the small Anglo-Indian Community of the Country. Not 
only this, but the stands all over India were largely patronised 
by members of the same Community, whole families turning out 
to cheer their favourites. Nor was this in any way communal 
frenzy, for the simple reason that most of the stupendous pioneering 
clubs, composed of Anglo-Indians, were the great nurseries of the 
world's hockey : the famous railway centres were nothing but Anglo- 
Indian, and even new hockey clubs and private teams could 
never have come up but for the guidance, the talent and the enthu- 
siasm of this microscopic Community. This was one great reason 
why a tournament like the Aga Khan in Bombay was such a world- 
famous attraction and much the same applied to Calcutta's Beighton 
Cup event — the clubs, the players community- wise and the 
supporters.” 

No one has cared to maintain a record but here are some available 
facts. 

The Calcutta Hockey League, one of the premier tournaments 
of India, was, in the 20 years between 1905 and 1924, won on 17 
occasions by Angio-fndian teams. 

The Aga Khan tournament of Bombay, perhaps the queen of 



228 THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

all-India tournaments, was lifted year after year by an Anglo- 
Indian eleven. Teams drawn from other communities from every 
part of the Country were brushed aside. This was in spite of the 
fact that the Anglo-Indian team was formed from a restricted field, 
either a school, a railway workshop or a mofussil area consisting of 
barely 500 to 1000 Anglo-Indians. 

Not infrequently the final was played between two Anglo-Indian 
teams as in 1926 when the Customs of Bombay met the Christ 
Church School Old Boys, Jubbulpore. These two teams won the 
Aga Khan trophy year after year. Again in 1927 the Aga Khan 
final was an all-Anglo-Indian affair: Christ Church Old Boys, 
Jubbulpore, beat the BB & Cl Railway team from Ajmer by the 
only goal secured in the match. 

A team drawn from 40 or 50 apprentices of the Ajmer workshop 
generally swept everything before it. Year after year this eleven, 
consisting of little more than schoolboys, wrested the All-India 
Scindia Gold Cup, one of the most coveted trophies of India’s hockey 
world. 

The Calcutta Customs hockey team had an enviable record of 
beating on the way the best hockey teams that the Country could 
produce. In spite of the fact that World War I saw the mass 
enrolment of Anglo-Indians in the different departments of the 
Armed Forces, the Anglo-Indians continued to sweep everything 
before them in the world of Indian hockey. The Bengal Nagpur 
Railway hockey team, the Port Commissioners, Calcutta, carried 
all before them, the Winter League, the 1st and 2nd Division Leagues 
and the Beighton Cup which, like the Aga Khan trophy of Bombay, 
was regarded as the blue ribbon of Indian hockey. 

In 1926 some one conceived the idea of sending an Indian Army 
hockey team to New Zealand. That team was carefully selected 
from 50 battalions of India’s fighting men and 500 British 
officers. After being carefully trained, they played a few test 
matches in India. One of the tests was played against a scratch 
team of Anglo-Indians from the North-Western Railway. The 
railway team was recruited from the local Anglo-Indian railway- 
men. The result was a thorough trouncing for the carefully selected 
and equally carefully trained Indian Army hockey team. 

In 1927, the Telegraph Club, Agra, which team consisted entirely 
of Anglo-Indians, won three successive hockey tournaments at 



THE SPORTSMEN AND THE SPORTSWOitEN OF INDIA 229 

Agra, Bharatpur and the Scindia Gold Cup, Gwalior, all in the space 
of one month. The final of the Scindia Gold Cup was played 
between two Anglo-Indian teams— the Telegraph Team and the 
Jubbulpore Gymkhana, G.I.P. Railway. 

In the South, Anglo-Indian teams swept everything before them. 
The Anglo-Indian Sports Club was the first civilian team to win 
the M.C.C. tournament. It was the leading team in the South in 
the Twenties. The M. & S. M. Railway team, consisting entirely 
of Anglo-Indians, was outstanding. In later years the supremacy 
of Anglo-Indians in hockey in the South remained undisputed, the 
Telegraph Recreation Club, another Anglo-Indian team, winning 
all the major hockey tournaments. 

In 1928, India sent a hockey team to take part in the World 
Olympics. It covered itself and the Country with unprecedented 
sports glory. They’ swept everything before them scoring 29 goals 
against their opponents, and without a single goal being scored 
against themselves. Of the II playing members, 8 were Anglo- 
Indians. Of the 3 spares, 2 were Anglo-Indians. The Manager 
of the team was also an Anglo-Indian, A.B. Rosser. The team, as 
finally chosen was, 

Goal — Allen (Bengal) 

Backs — Michael Rocque (C.P.) and Hammond (U.P.) 

Half-backs — Kehr Singh (Punjab), Penniger (Punjab) and Cullen 
(U.P.) 

Forwards — Gateley (Punjab), Feroze (Punjab), Dhyan Chand 
(U.P.), Marthins (U.P.) and Seaman (U.P.) 

The general utility players were Shaukat Ali (Bengal) and Rex 
Norris (C.P.) 

The reserves were Boodrie (Punjab), Lai Shah (Punjab) and 
Deefholts (Bengal) 

Jaipal Singh, at present a member of Parliament, joined the team 
as Captain; he was an Oxford Blue in the U.K. He did not play 
in many of the matches and Penniger, the Vice-Captain, had to 
stand in most of the time. 

About their performances in their preliminary matches, a famous 
British sports commentator wrote, “Hockey, as played in India, 
came as a revelation to the hockey enthusiasts in England. Lovers 
of this great amateur game had no idea that hockey could attain 
such a high standard of proficiency and science. The Indian players 



230 THE STOUT OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COSOICNITT 

have been likened to the professional soccer players. They have a 
wonderful knowledge of position play: they are fleet-footed and 
expert exponents of the first time and through pass. They are 
most unselfish in their methods; have a wonderful eye; their stick- 
work is deft and polished and they are great believers in stopping 
the ball with the hand to make sure of the next movement.” 

A commentator of international repute said after the game 
against the Hockey Association XI, at Folkestone, “The play of 
these Indians is the creme dc creme of what first class hockey 
should be. One and all were impressed with the tackleback. 
Nothing like it has ever been witnessed in England.” 

On their return the conquering heroes were given a tumultuous 
welcome. From the Viceroy downwards they were sent messages 
and telegrams of congratulations. On behalf of the Community 
Gidney sent the following message, “On behalf of the Anglo-Indian 
Community I welcome you home and congratulate you on world- 
famed achievement. We are particularly pleased and proud 
that 9 Anglo-Indians with their Indian colleagues won the 
final in Olympic tournament. We art doing our utmost to refund 
excess expenditure.” The Governor or Bombay sent the following 
letter to Pennigcr, who was the acting Captain : 

“Dear Mr. Pennigcr, 

I am extremely sorry that I shall not be in Bombay myself, and 
consequently unable to take part in any of the welcome to you and 
the members of your team, but I am sending this letter by Captain 
Scymour-Williams who will represent me. 

I desire to offer you a very sincere welcome back to India and 
also to offer you my whole-hearted congratulations on the great 
success which your team has attained in Europe. I think I am 
justified in saying that this success is without precedent and, while 
you and every member of your team must naturally feel pleased, 
there is, at the same time, no one in India or who has any connection 
with India, who docs not feci proud of your achievements. 

Yours sincerely, 
Sd /- Leslie Wilson.” 

It is no exaggeration to say that the Anglo-Indian Community 
could have produced at least 6 equally good teams. Before they 
left India, the all-conqueiing 1928 Olympic team played a scratch 
team of Anglo-Indians in Bombay and was beaten. They played 



THE srOXTJUEN AND TME SPOKTSWOUZS OP INDIA 231 

a return match with thij scratch team after their triumphal return. 
This time they beat the scratch team, but sports commentators 
drew attention to the fact that the scratch team had no opportunity 
of practising before they played the return match. The names of 
the members of this scratch team are worth recording : 

Ogden (Captain), Massey, Mackenzie, Brovin, Abreo, Smith, 
Milne, Muller, Long, Willis. It was mentioned that Potts of the 
Customs might also play. 

Over the years the number of Anglo-Indians in the Indian 
Olympic team has progressively decreased. The 1932 team had 
7 Anglo-Indians; Allen, Tapsell, Hammond, Brovin, Penniger, 
Carr and Sullivan. In 1936 there were 6 Anglo-Indians; Allen, 
Tapsell, Cullen, Emmet, Michie, Gallibardy. In 1948 there were 
4 including Claudius and Jansen. Patrick Jansen won his spurs 
in hockey in the Calcutta Port Commissioners, another Anglo- 
Indian hockey team which became a legend 5n the Indian hockey 
world. Playing as inside-left Jansen achieved the position of being 
the top scorer of the side. In 1948, India retained the title of 
hockey champions of the world. 

In 1952 there were 2 Anglo-Indians and in 1956 and 1960 only one, 
Leslie Claudius. Claudius has also been described as one of the grea- 
test half-backs the world has ever seen. Actually Claudius’ first love 
was football. He was introduced almost by accident to hockey by 
the great Dickie Girr. Claudius was selected by Carr to play in 
the 'A* team for the Bcighton Cup in 1 946. Those were days of the al- 
most fabulous Anglo-Indian figures of Carr, Tapsell, Gallibardy and 
Gerry Glaeken to whose help and guidance Claudius owed much. 

Some of those great and unequalled Anglo-Indian hockey players 
deserve special mention. Rex Karris of Jubbulpore, the gnarled 
weather-beaten veteran, is still going strong. From 1954 to 1956 
he was the national coach to Holland. In 1960 he went in the same 
capacity to Italy. The latest reports show that Rex Norris, one of 
the world's greatest hockey coaches, is at present training the 
Mexican team for the Olympic Games to be held in October, 1968. 

Among India’s finest sportsmen and sportswomen were the sons 
and daughters of Rex Norris. I shall refer to them in their 
appropriate places. Rex Norris was perhaps the greatest 
centre-half of world hockey: Penniger had an almost equal reputa- 
tion: Allen was described as the world’s greatest goal-keeper. 



232 THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNTTT 

Michael Roeque and Hammond as among the greatest full-backs. 

With the exodus of some of the best sporting talent in the Commu- 
nity, India’s loss has been the gain of the countries to which Anglo- 
Indians have emigrated. In future it will be interesting to scrutinise 
the Commonwealth hockey teams, especially from Australia, 
New Zealand and the U.K. More and more Anglo-Indians will be 
found in them, accounting for the new-found hockey prowess of these 
Commonwealth teams. Thus in the quarter-finals of the Rome 
Olympics in 1960, India beat Australia by a solitary goal. The two 
opposing captains who met for the toss were both Anglo-Indians: 
Leslie Claudius of Calcutta, captain of the Indian team, and Kevin 
Carlton, a St. Joseph’s (Naini Tal) boy, the Australian captain. 

Recent reports show that Eric Pearce, of the famous hockey- 
playing family, may carry the Australian flag this year (1968) at the 
Olympic Games in Mexico. Eric Pearce will be representing Austra- 
lia at the Olympics for the fourth time. His other brothers Gordon 
and Julian have also been selected to represent Australia in Mexico. 
The Pearce brothers hold the world record for the number of 
members of a family selected to represent a country at the Olym- 
pic Games. Since 1956 there have always been at least 2 Pearce 
brothers representing Australia at the Olympic Games. There 
are 5 brothers in the Pearce family and each has represented 
Australia at least 3 times. In 1958, the 5 brothers were in 
the same State side (Western Australia), thus making up practical- 
ly half the team. An Australian paper has mentioned that It is 
strange that despite their excellent record in Australian and inter- 
naUonal hockey not once has a Pearce been asked to captain an 
Australian side. The Pearce family came from Jubbulporc. Their 
father was, in his time, a hockey enthusiast in India. The family 
migrated to Australia in 1947. 

Boxing 

Boxing was introduced in India by the British Army. Anglo- 
Indian Schools took to this sport early in their existence, and Anglo- 

ndians dominated the Indian boxing scene year after year. Anglo- 
Indian boxing champions from the Auxiliary Force over and over 
again beat the best men from British regiments. There have been 
many well-known Anglo-Indian boxers. Reference may be made 
to a few. 



Tilt SPORTSMEN AND THE SPORTSWOMEN OF INDIA 


233 


Edgar Brighte of Bombay was for many yean the champion 
Lightweight boxer of India. Milton Kubes • cnt3 j 

standing master and exponent of boxing. o " * ,j UJ 

boxer £dd bo found .o .and up to h.m. Wur.nrmo «f < » > 

,l,e intrralsng f.ght in Bombay, in IMS, I between Kuhn (10 «■ ° 

N and Gunner Melvin (12 ,t. 4 1b. ) of .be R.F.A. IngM 

Heavyweight champion of W Ridable op- 

mg to rive away so much weight, Kubes Dcai 
ponen. on points. For theer blood and thunder veteran, reea.l 
the epic light between Milton Kubea and Hid D 
Kid D’Silva was in hit time the idol of the boxing fa 
He was one or the mm. scientific boxers that Ind.a , to , ever ^ pro; 
duced. HU thin, almost emaciated, appearance be 
canny powers of endurance and capaaty to punch. On one 
occasion he sow sent to Australia where he held h» own agamst *e 
be,, Australian boxers. He was drseribed .n Austral, ^ Th 
Hindoo Giraffe with ihe puneh of a Mule/' Duncan . "“ di ; 

Seereury for many yean of ,he Jlsansi branch of, he All Inoa 
Anglo-Indian Asnscislion, was ,he U'daiovtight eh | P_ , 
1934-1937. He was also the undefeated All-Ii ndi * 

Ugh, Heavyweight champion horn and 

exhibition bout, he knocked out th • Year> 

Air Force Middleweight champion. I" IJ Ihe 

although giving away considerable weig » second 

British fSmy U S h! Heavyweigh, champ, on m the second 

10 Arthur Snares was a boxing legend in -he g M? andJorUn. 
At the early age of fourlrcn he ss-on the cove mD ; on ship at 

Cup’ for the South Indian Bantamweight Ch ampionship M 
Madras. Evtn before hU coming of age he <ough P . / 

scoring victories over grea, boxen of Amtt. 

Weight champion of Western India and arry ^1 

In L coune of hi, earece he had spectacular « 

Riven, Dixie Kidd, Sesunan Nobby Hall Gunner Mrlv », M'h» 
Kubes, Duncan Chatterton and Johnny James to m 
He evin beat the great Gunboat Jaeh, Use Amencan Negro who 
made India his home: according to many C ?P CI £ - h J ld 

should have annexed the Middleweight championship of th 

had he remained and fought in America. 



234 


THE STORY OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


At the top of his career Suares embarked on foreign tours to 
Ceylon, Burma, Malaya and Singapore. He fought many lead- 
ing international boxen including Frank Malino, Tiger Freeman, 
Seaman Youngman, Champion of the Burma Fleet, Bill Brady, and 
the most outstanding Ignatio Fernandez who was then rated as 
world class. 


Suares turned down a contract for boxing in the U.S.A. and re- 
turned home. On the declaration or World War II Suares en- 
listed in the R.A.M.C., where he continued his boxing career 
generously donating his purses to the War Fund. 

While posted with the Middle East Forces at Iraq, Suares acliiev- 
ed the impossible of a triple knock-out in one night, earning for hiro- 
self the title or Light Heavyweight Champion of the P.I.I. Forces 
(Persia, Iraq and Iran). 

With the coration of the Wat he joined the Hyderabad State 
Array as a boxing nutruclor. When that trait wai ditbanded. he 
J “”'“ y 1 ' Artillery Centre at Nasilt Road. After retirement in 
e joined his family in Bangalore and spent his time in coach- 
rag youngiten tn boxing and athletics. He n extremely proud 
0 hit young niece! and nephews whom he personally coached. 
Deanna Syme, Mtnette Suares, Arthur Marl Suares, Milford 
htenneuy and Lincoln Suatej were among the few who have hit 


Dusty Miller was from 1942 the 'Middleweight King' of the 
Tl “ ! P‘« of 'he emigration of » of our best boxes!, the 
of ■fv,° t" ^ lanS continucd t0 dominate the boxing arena. After a lapse 
^ n ^ arS ‘ hcNorthcrn Jndia Boxing Championship was re- 
u ' ^ U,t y Miller was matched against Capt. Camp- 
vallanti° A Gurkf,a Rifles. Although Campagnac fought 
j f an "'j'? et * thirt y-° nc pounds more than Miller, the latter 
him - Dust y Makr added Northern India 
a or ship,ohis listing title as Lightweight 
todav ; 5 I ‘^ a ™pion of Ceylon. Incidentally, Campagnac 

ed the 1 H r- °"V ^“ r ‘ n g t!le Indo-Pakistan conflict he command- 
m57 d*? “it 1 r a R l WeS -' HIS S^odfather fought a, a civilian in 
1857 during the Lucknow siege. 

thfMadI^ri^a^* J °J I ?^°, rW “ , ' c " Comm " d captured 

Bahadur Thapa of the 8dt GuT^ ^ ““ 



235 


the stmTSMBS IND T«t srovnwour.s or IKDt V 
Maurice Monmer won .he Kor.hens Into Lig h.-Ile.^^h. 

added to the popularity or this sport- > China-Bunna-lndia 

mem staged during World W« I '^f^^utta. The 
Championship at the MoruomsSq roucll , h eir oven svay. 

coloured American fighter* had th gs ry ^ „ ho won their 

The Anglo-Indians were the only * e ” I champion- 

respective crowns. Dusty Miller punched Ins wa} tothcc 
ship of the Middleweight Division. Feather- 

Lon Joshua emulated .hi, perfomvance Z" L ™r 

.might Division. Joshua's greatest sic, ory ■ known 

Roy Anknrah of .ho Gold Coas.. d^or'.h s^ d -i.lo a. a 

a, .ho Black Flash, was .1,0 loading con.cndcr Tor .ho 

law ..ago. belsvecn Dennis Batons and 

Veterans of boxing refer to the fight perhaps the best 

Private Lcsvis of .ho South "a 1 ” wilmer and Ralph Jana of 
they can recall, and .ha, between Ron V. toer 
Ceylou as .1,0 nea, bos. for •««<* J- practically only 
In the 1952 Olympiad la, 1 chink. ^ ? ndiin boaera. 

Anglo-Indian names in the gala*} r,iher was quoted as 

Ron Norris, champion son of a champion father, was q 

•world class’. - Madhya Tradesh Lightweight 

In 1949, Ron Norris annexed the M V* AU-India 

championship. In 1952 he hit ^e headline ^ ^ 

Championship held in Calcu, “' ‘ Polic 7, then the reigning 
with Havildar Janardhan of the Bo y crafty, expcrienc- 

Westero India Champion. an Indian boxing team 

ed Havildar. In February or the sam } ^ ColQmbo champion- 
was invited to Ceylon to ta e p Wclterweigllt Championship 
ships. In the semi-finals o fj a vy. In the finals he beat 

Norris beat Parker of the Bntis y 3 p cr eira, and an- 

the Ceylon Welterweight champion O.M.V.U. 
nexed the Welterweight title of Ceylon. t thc Country 

In the selections for the Indian e between Norris 

a, the Helsinki Olympics. ' hc " “ "J v^ In on even mom 

end Janardhan . On ,hu <*• «»»£ P^ OVCI Janardhan. 

ane'oftheTaelected ,o represent India a. HelsmD. 



236 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN C01WUNITT 

Capt. Oscar Ward, the Captain of the team, was another well- 
known Anghnlndian boxer. Norris was the only member of the 
team, however, to have the spotlight focussed on him at Helsinki. 
Fighting against Battilla of Canada, he hammered the Canadian 
champion into submission in the third round. In the quarter-finals 
he was pitted against J„ Johnson. Norris fought a great Sght. 
Tie verdict of points was given, however, to the Dane. There was 
considerable comment in the pres, against the verdict. On hi. 
return to India, Norris metGopal Kri.lien, the Madras Middle- 
weight, and scored a spectacular victory by knocking him out in the 

Pasha Toi , ”. Calcwu h = P« ™ gloves against Anwar 
"J'P'WU representative of Pakistan. Pasha was knock- 
ed Out t within tsvo minute, of die firs, round. Norris then represent- 
Mr, So ,,, ~ Jap ““'' Th ' JaP*** were fast Li had 

mowtv H a 'h^'' y '™" y ,h '°“S h 'lie Indian side 

Nor b bmuX h' ° PP '“ i ' i °'' <1*7 "•« .he Anglo-Indians. 

Onuki ,h?S 'V° ‘ "" d - ,n h “ encounter he beat 
a, he ^ k„ " Nom, then beat Kaji, K.O. Kaji 

,saa “»- — ^•'" di “. - 

bega“„ d , y o,hfwhh n 'hT P,0d “ Ct ' ,rS '- Oollep. Calcutta, 

name wa, included^ h “ 1,1 “ h ° oL Ultimately, hi, 

paratorv to th- ,-v ■ * , f boxcrs summoned for trials pre- 

in the World Olympiad to fehf?” "** “ P " tici ' pa “ 

bout Hourivan !„ P , h d ,n *•““*" in 1948. In the final 

the fight Houriga„°d P Stti b L!!f at ' ia 0fB ' nSa1, Thr °“« houl 
Bhattia for a shmt count dropping 

Bhattia oandrm™; . , ™ h “ ,h ' decision was awarded to 

save the judges andfhe rrlr' 7'‘ 'f e .P olice had to intervene to 
the protests from the „ r j C f r ° m bein S manhandled. Despite 
* the C Tcirr PUb,ic ' Bh *' u “ tnpresented India 
his appearance agahfi r ?“ Hourigan made 

FeatK^STp" •**' * “iming Ceylon 

Air Force where he soon a ”°“"S*n joined the Indian 

decisively beat the famous Lai Baha'd' Sf?"” b ‘” d “ g H ' 

Rifles who had been the unh . f ‘ dur Thapa of the 8th Gurkha 
He then annexed die champion since 1945. 

All-India Oh^piSS? ° f thC Services - In thc 
P P at Bomba y ^ even beat the well-known 



THE STORTEMEN ASO THE OR 237 

Havelock Norris, .he Wes, cm India nhampion ood beea™ .he 
National Featherweight Champson a. the early age ol 

^'Thirties also the Angkwlndians established a donrinao, 

’"^Tfat Indian to win a medal in world ts.hle.ta 
Pritchard, on Anglo-Indian teacher from Lueknos . 
second, five nreten behind j.W.B TewkesboJ of ^ 

Sees, who won the 200 metres. Urn was eaxr 60 ^ 

raris, in the second of the modem ser.es of “’^Here 

In the 1910 Indian contingent for the Ol)Tnp thc 

several Anglo-Indian athletes. They mcloded Ene 
sprinter, John Vieken the hurdler, ^."al''^ 
team and, perhaps the most outstanding, Hcno RtbM 
A Bangalore b*. Henry Rebello jumH Mu, 

He made his way in the Mysore 01 >™P' A2 ‘^'. As a result 

provincial record in the Hop, Step and J P jn thc f{ opi 

or long and strenuous practice by 19+4 e had incrcascd 

Step and Jump and 21 in the longjump- ? hc again won 

the distance to -16’ and 21 -9 respectively. clearing 

the Hop, Step and Jump event in the Mysore > Indo _Ccylon 
He then wen. on to win the even, £ 

Athletic Meet the same year, clearing 46 ' -1 • n frf or a while 

down at the 47' mark. Hc eventually decided to y M re 

and concentrate on sprinting and hurdling. n , _‘« Hc 

Olympic Athletic Meet he made a stupendous jump “V * , . 

then went on to shatter the Indian recordatthe 

Meet the same year with a distance of 50 • . ^ 

found him a place in the Indian team which pa i P 

World Olympiad of 1918. Sportsmen 

had their thoughts centred on the India" ^ . - %% j, cn 

Henry Rebello for world honours. There was mu J y ^ 
during the practice jump before the Games e e ..hen the 

Motspur Park. This joy turned into despair, howev ’ 1] d 

trajenews was received that during the pract.ee he had pull 
muscle and would not be able to take part in t e am ®‘ . tqon 
The Sutton brother, were famous names in Indian spo ' 

W. Sutton represented India in the Olympic Games at Los g 



238 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


in 1932. He ran neck and neck with Lord Burghley, the famous 
British hurdler. 

Ken Powell of the Kolar Gold Fields and an all-round sportsman 
is one of India’s most famous athletes. In March, 1964, at the 
AU-India Open Athletics meet, Powell equalled the National and 
Asian record for the 100 metres by clocking 10.6 seconds. Earlier 
in May, 1963, at the Mysore State Olympics Powell achieved the 
title of the fastest man in India and Asia with a record timing of 
21.3 seconds in the 200 metres dash. In November, 1963, Powell 
was selected to represent India at the International Athletic meet 
at Nairobi (Kenya) to celebrate Kenya’s Independence Day, He 
won the 220 yards but lost the 100 yards. 

In June, 1964, Powell was selected to represent India at the 
Olympic Games at Tokyo for the 200 metres and the relay team for 
the 4 X 100 metres. In July, 1964, Ken Powell and Deanna Syme, 
an outstanding Anglo-Indian woman athlete of Mysore, toured 
West Germany for training-cum-competition along with an Indian 
team consisting of 12 members. At Poona in March, 1965, Powell 
and Barry Ford, another Anglo-Indian, broke the Indian record 
for the 100 metres and set up a new record of 10.4 seconds in the 
100 metres and 21 .4 seconds in the 200 metres. 

It is interesting to recall that Derek Boosey, also of the Kolar Gold 
Fields, covered 49' and 4' in the Hop, Step and Jump bettering 
the 15 year old record of Henry Rcbello. By winning the 
National Championship in 1960, Boosey equalled the record of his 
lather, Leslie Boosey, who had won the National Championship 
about 20 years earlier. 


Football 

Football docs not attract the aarao imereti as hockey in India, 
u or many years Anglo-Indian schools have devoted increasing 
attention to this sport. Football is played with considerable skill 
n enthusiasm in almost every Anglo-Indian school. The Durand 
*■ C Pr T 1Cr roo, b a N trophy. In pre-Independence dap 
Anll h T rC f men, , a team5 USUally claimed this trophy, but very often 
tm^r n ,? a N ‘ VCn V VOu!d ‘he final beating on the way 
Railwav t* C bCSt BrlUsh re 8'mental teams. In 1927, the East Indian 
In 1 qoo “ nsis ‘ ln 8 °nly of Anglo-Indians, reached the final. 
Xn 1929, the Great Indian Peninsular Railway team, consisting 



TTIE SPORTSMEN AND TlfE SPORTSWOMEN Or INDIA 239 

again only of Anglo-Indians, won the All-India Railway Football 
tournament. After this they reached the final of the Durand 
tournament; they lost by one goal to a crack British regimental team. 

Cricket 

Cricket is also not played in India with the same enthusiasm as 
hockey. Anglo-Indian schools, however, have turned out some 
really good cricketers. After leaving school these Jads have little, 
if any, opportunity of developing their sporting talent further. 
The prowess attained by the Anglo-Indians can be illustrated by a 
provincial cross section of Anglo-Indian achievement. For instance, 
in the Central Provinces (now Madhya Pradesh) the Quadrangular 
Cricket tournament was, for many years, won by the Anglo-Indians : 
the name of the tournament was derived from the fact that four 
teams — the Anglo-Indians, Europeans, Hindus and Mohamme- 
dans— competed. The European team was usually strong, being 
drawn from several British battalions In the Province. In one year, 
either 1924 or 1925, the Europeans fielded an exceptionally fine 
team. There were four British County bats in the team : yet this 
team was beaten in the final by the Anglo Indian eleven. Some of 
the latter were bop drawn from Christ Church Bop’ School, 
Jubbulpore. In passing, it might be mentioned that this School 
claims to hold a world record in cricket. The school team once 
played an eleven drawn from a well-known British Regiment — 
the Hampshires. Incredible as it may sound, this regimental 
eleven was dismissed for an inglorious blob. The eleven members 
of the British team were not able to make or sneak a single run. 
They were not even fortunate enough to secure a bye. This perhaps 
unique achievement can be verified by an inspection of the official 
score sheet duly framed and hung up in the school hall. 

First Indian World Champion 

While writing about the men I would refer last, but not least, 
to Wilson Jones. He was the first and, so far, the only Indian to 
win an individual World Championship title. He won the Indian 
Billiards title in 1950 and held it for three successive yean. He 
regained the Indian title in 1954 and retained it for two years. He 
was again the Champion in 1957, 1960 and 1961, and held the 
Indian Championship title from 1963 till his retirement in 1967. 



240 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COitMUNITT 

Wilson Jones represented India in the World Billiards Champion- 
J; P ‘ n i 951 * I952 > W54. 1958, I960, 1962 and 1964 and in the 
World Snooker Championship in 1963. He not only reigned 
n r 1 a—”, “r ’ h « Indian BiHiards Champion, he also won the 
t row 3 t f ° r Snooker in ,948 > ^952, 1954, 1958 and 1960. 
In 1958, he won the coveted crown of the World Billiards Cham- 
pion. In December, 1964, at Auckland, New Zealand, Jones 

Zer't ?\ th i C ° f W ° rld Bi,Hards Champion, being the only 
player to finish the tournament. 1 

™* ,he World in 1MB. both the then 
President and the Prone Minister were so impressed by his sueeess 
that he «, honoured with an audience and earned the privilege 

In hlarch f"" ° f bi “ *' R-htrapati Bhavan. 

Si WJ»n Jnn» « given the Arjuna Award by the 

Bhavan fn tfee a " *' * !>'« *• Eashtnspati 

Bhavan. In 1965, he was asvarded the Padma Shri. 

Sportswomen 

Un A u” S ire I enS”.h gir '* J T 1 " “ U kind * ° r *P°". specially athletics, 
hap, . p f ey ld . h Qt havc serious competition except, per- 
SSeM r m . g, ' U , ^ For year, r£st 

Anglo-Indian ^ ,hIetlcs Championships were won by 

the game i i h 1^'’’ th ' Anglo-Indian girl, dominated 
NaS ctT 1 h ' A n Slo-lndian men. The Provincial and 

5K£r:= 


produced An^lr^T f’ JUbbu, P ore > Delhi, the l 

respect — unbeatable 

nataf^k'lT. “ ,h ' UK - » iabo Part in an inter- 

Catchick fCanta’ Among the members were Betty 

Stcphe'soL “ da W ‘ ,Iia ™»h. hlary D’Sena and Doreen 

vSS J: Wm rmm Also in the team were 

N2«ris,sva,aI,oi„ ,LlM6 y t er° m ’i“ 0,h '' » f K " 

\ 56 Yvonne Smith was as good a 



Tim SPORTSMEN* AND TJ [E SPORTSWOMEN OP INDIA 241 

hockey* player as she was handsome- She captained the Madhya 
Pradesh's Women’s Hockey Team from 1947 to 1957 daring which 
period the team often swept everything before them in the National 
Championships. 

The Women’s National Hockey Tournament held in Bhopal 
in 1961 was an all-Anglo-Indian affair. The Madras State Team 
went down narrowly in the final to the star-studded Mysore State 
Team. 

Ann Lumsdcn, who typified the athletic and yet beautiful Anglo- 
Indian girl, was the first woman hockey player to get the Arjuna 
Award: that was in 1962. 

The Delhi Olympic meet held in February, 1951, illustrated the 
continuing domination of athletics by the Community. In Delhi, 
at that time, there was a total population of not more than three 
or four thousand Anglo-Indians including the children. At the 
Delhi meet the team fielded by The Anglo-Indian Youth* team 
of Delhi swept the board, both in the Men’s and Women’s sections. 
Ivy Scott won the title of Champion Girl Athlete, Senior Section, 
and also Champion Woman Athlete, Open Section. Christine 
Maclnnis won the Champion Girl’s Trophy, Junior Section, and 
broke the State record for the high jump, open section, with a 
jump of 4’-2-5/&*. 

The 400 metres relay race was won by the young Anglo-Indian 
boys and the girls’ relay team romped home a lap ahead of the 
team which found second place. 

Ivy Scott won seven Erst places in the meet, a performance which 
has never been equalled by a girl or woman in the Capital. She 
easily won the 50 metres, 100 metres and long jump events in the 
Senior Girls’ Division and by winning the 50 metres, the 100 metres 
and long jump events in the Women’s Open Section, she annexed 
the championship trophies in both divisions, while her final quarter 
in the women's relay was practically a solo affair. She broke the 
tape lar ahead of the others and enabled the Anglo-Indian Youth 
team to annex the trophy for the third year in succession. 

Deanna Syme, another outstanding Anglo-Indian sportswoman, 
showed her versatility by shining in the Mysore University both as 
a student and as an athlete. She was also a first class hockey 
player, being a member of the Mysore State Women’s team in the 
Hockey Championships held at Poona in 1958. In the same year 



240 


THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-IXDIAN COMMUNTTf 


Wilson Jones represented India in the World Billiards Champion- 
ship in 1951, 1952, 1954, 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964 and in the 
World Snooker Championship in 1963. He not only reigned 
for 12 years as the Indian Billiards Champion, he also won the 
all-India title for Snooker in 1948, 1952, 1954, 1958 and 1960. 
In 1958, he won the coveted crown of the World Billiards Cham- 
pion. In December, 1964, at Auckland, New Zealand, Jones 
regained the title of World Billiards Champion, being the only 
player to finish the tournament. 

When Wilson Jones won the World title in 1958, both the then 
President and the Prime Minister were so impressed by his success 
that he was honoured with an audience and earned the privilege 
of playing an exhibition game of billiards at Rashtrapati Bhavan. 
In March, 1963, Wilson Jones was given the Arjuna Award by the 
President Dr. Radhakrishnan at a function held at Rashtrapati 
Bhavan. In 1965, he was awarded the Padma Shri. 

Sportswomen 

Anglo-Indian girls excel in all kinds of sport, especially athletics. 
Until recently they did not have serious competition except, per- 
haps, in tennis, from girls of other communities. For years most 
of the Women’s Provincial Athletics Championships were won by 
Anglo-Indian girls. In hockey the Anglo-Indian girls dominated 
the game, as much as the Anglo-Indian men. The Provincial and 
National Championships were swept by the Anglo-Indian teams. 
Usually, the final was fought between two Anglo-Indian teams. 
Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Jubbulpore, Delhi, the U.P.— all 
produced Anglo-Indian girls’ teams that were unbeatable in their 
respective areas. 

In 1953 a team was sent to the U.K. to take part in an inter- 
national hockey tournament. Among the members were Betty 
Catchick (Captain), Vanda Williamson, Mary D’Sena and Doreen 
Stephenson : all four were from Bengal. Also in the team were 
\vonne Smith and her sister, Dorrel Smith, both Jubbulpore girls, 
and Philomena Norris, one of the daughters of Rex Norris. 

In 1956 another Indian team was sent to take part in an inter- 
national hockey tournament in Australia. The Captain, this time, 
Yvonne Smith : Wendy Norris, another daughter of Rex 
No2T"i s > was a k° * n *he 1956 team. Yvonne Smith was as good a 



THE SPORTSilEN ASS THE SPORTSWOMEN OF INDIA 24! 

hockey player as she was handsome. She captained the Madhya 
Pradesh’s Women’s Hockey Team from 1947 to 1957 during which 
period the team often swept everything before them in the National 
Championships. 

The Women’s National Hockey Tournament held in Bhopal 
in 1961 was an all-Anglo-Indian affair. The Madras State Team 
went down narrowly in the final to the star-studded Mysore State 
Team. 

Ann Lumsden, who typified the athletic and yet beautiful Anglo- 
Indian girl, was the first woman hockey player to get the Arjuna 
Award : that was in 1962. 

The Delhi Olympic meet held in February, 1951, illustrated the 
continuing domination of athletics by the Community. In Delhi, 
at that time, there was a total population of not more than three 
or four thousand Anglo-Indians including the children. At the 
Delhi meet the team fielded by The Anglo-Indian Youth* team 
of Delhi swept the board, both in the Men’s and Women’s sections. 
Ivy Scott won the title of Champion Girl Athlete, Senior Section, 
and also Champion Woman Athlete, Open Section. Christine 
Maclnnis won the Champion Girl’s Trophy, Junior Section, and 
broke the State record for the high jump, open section, with a 
jump of 4 ’-2-5/8'. 

The 400 metres relay race was won by the young Anglo-Indian 
boys and the girls’ relay team romped home a lap ahead of the 
team which found second place. 

Ivy Scott won seven first places in the meet, a performance which 
has never been equalled by a girl or woman in the Capital. She 
easily won the 50 metres, 100 metres and long jump events in the 
Senior Girls’ Division and by winning the 50 metres, the 100 metres 
and long jump events in the Women’s Open Section, she annexed 
the championship trophies in both divisions, while her final quarter 
in the women’s relay was practically a solo affair. She broke the 
tape far ahead of the others and enabled the Anglo-Indian Youth 
team to annex the trophy for the third year in succession. 

Deanna Syme, another outstanding Anglo-Indian sportswoman, 
showed her versatility by shining in the Mysore University both as 
a student and as an athlete. She was also a first class hockey 
player, being a member of the Mysore State Women's team in the 
Hockey Championships held at Poona in 1938. In the same year 



242 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Deanna won the Inter-University Championship at Jubbulpore. 
In April, 1961, the Mysore University Sports Committee gave her 
a special prize as ‘The Outstanding Athlete’. In the National 
Athletics in 1957, Deanna became the long jump champion with a 
leap of 17 ft. 4| ins. She retained her title the following year at 
Calcutta, lost it in 1959 and regained it in 1960. Deanna Syme 
has followed in the footsteps of her aunt, Miss Marjorie Snares, 
who won the National championship many years ago. 

Betty Davenport, who was for some time the P.T. Instructress 
in the Frank Anthony Public School, New Delhi, has been for 
several years the undisputed National champion in the Javelin and 
the Discus throw. 

Christine Forage of Bombay has been described as ‘India’s 
Wonder Sports Girl’. 

Christine, who was bom on the 27th January, 1946, had by the 
age ofl7 piled up a dazzling array of achievements and trophies that 
might well have turned the head of many an older sportswoman of 
international repute. Breaking into athletics at the age of 12, she 
made her debut at the National Gamej in Trivandrum and secured 
second place in the high jump, somewhat to the surprise even of 
those who knew her. After doing exceedingly well in the Bombay 
State Championship, Christine collected 2 gold medals in the 
National Championships held at New Delhi in 1960. In 1961, 
she created an all-time record in the Maharashtra State Senior 
and Junior Games by sweeping the board in 9 events, thus 
establishing a record which would be difficult, if not impossible, 
to equal. Despite a bad knee she was in a class by herself in the 
National Athletic Championships at Jullundur in 1961. She swept 
the board in the under-sixteen events, apart from establishing a 
whole series of new records. She won 6 gold medals and narrowly 
missed the seventh. 

In the National Games at Jubbulpore in 1962, she dumbfounded 
even the most ardent prophets by taking part in 9 events and 
winning a medal in each. She won 6 gold medals, 2 silver 
and one bronze. 

A tribute to Christine's versatile and yet consistent athletic 
genius was the National Award for Physical Efficiency. In a two- 
day competition held for the first time in 1962, she collected 3,392 
points beating to a complete frazzle all the competitors from 12 



THE SPORTSitEN AND THE SPORTSWCWEN OF INDIA 243 

States and 3 Union territories. It is significant that no awards 
were made to the Seniors as they did not measure up to the mini- 
mum standards. 

Sportsmen and sportswritrrs acclaim Christine as one of the 
rarest combinations or outstanding capacity in track and field events. 
She is in a class by herself being equally at home in sprints, hurdles, 
the jumps and throws. 

What kind of a person is this teenage Anglo-Indian wonder 
sportsglrl? Essentially, she is shy and admits to being nervous 
before any race. She is completely unspoilt and has the interests 
of any average Anglo-Indian teenager, including jazz. Apparently 
she prefers Elvis Presley to the top Anglo-Indian pop-singer Cliff 
Richards. Apart from (he necessary physical attributes, Christine 
has the prerequisites for championship in any walk of life — the 
will and the capacity to work hard and to keep to a rigid schedule. 
Christine, today, is a star the like of which has not yet shone in the 
Indian athletic firmament. Whether she places India on the map 
of world athletics will depend on svbethcr those who have anything 
to do officially with the promotion of athletic talent in the Country 
ensure that she gets the necessary opportunities and the proper 
training. In 1962 Christine was invited to Russia for further 
training. 

Reference to our sporting women would not be complete with- 
out mentioning Jenny Sandison. For many years she was the 
undisputed queen of All-India tennis. Her talent took her to 
Wimbledon. But playing conditions being very different, she 
did not do as well as was expected. She, however, had the satisfac- 
tion of beating Betty Nuthall, the reigning British champion. 

Shikaris 

Some of the best-known shikaris in the Country have been Anglo- 
Indians. This perhaps was inevitable because the majority of 
Anglo-Indians were interested in shikar. Youngsters were brought 
up to the use of the shotgun and the rifle from a very early age. 
The names of some Anglo-Indian shikaris, who also have books to 
their credit, are household wer ds, such as, Jim Corbet t of Naini TaJ, 
Anderson of Bangalore, and Powell of Mussoorie. A recent book 
written by Pat Stracey entitled, 'Reade, Elephant Hunter' is 
worth reading. In his book Stracey describes Lovel Reade as “The 



244 nfE stout op the axcumxdian commoxitt 

Jim Corbett of Elephants.*’ Straccy point! out that, like Corbett, 
Reade was of humble origin. Reade, whose grandfather was a 
European, started life as a clerk, was transferred to the Agriculture 
Department being first an Inspector and then rose to official status. 
Reade shot his first elephant in 1928 at the age or 38 and his last in 
1967, at the age 76, Reade had a phenomena! bag of 220 raiding 
elephants most of which he shot on foot. 

Although an Anglo-Indian, Readr appears to have identified 
himself with the Khasis of Assam among whom he is a legendary 
figure. Straccy points out that Readc has not achieved the fame of 
Corbett because be functioned in a distant, inaccessible part of 
India and also, perhaps, because unlike Corbett he did not have 
the patronage of persons in high places. Straccy himself is no mean 
shikari. He retired as Chief Conservator from the Imperial Forest 
Service after 30 years of service. He is one of the highly successful 
Straccy brothers to whom I refer in a later cliapier. 

I should imagine that over the years there have been hundreds 
of Anglo-Indians who have shot more than a dozen tigers apart 
from panther, bear, bison, wild buffalo and elephant. Thus an 
uncle of mine, Wiltiam Anthony, who retired from the Imperial 
Forest Service, although not a fanatieal shikari had 57 tigers to 
his credit. He and Col. Leake, a European and Chief Medical 
Officer of the then Bengal-Nagpur Railway, t\ ere great shooting com- 
panions. Leake was an ardent big-game shikari apart from being 
the only living double V.C. — that svas between 1920 and 1930. 

I remember a story my uncle told me about Leake and himself. 
My uncle was then Conservator at Tlalaghat, a fine shooting district 
in the then Central Provinces. The Governor was Sir Montague 
Butler. Butler, who was very friendly with my uncle, asked him 
to arrange a really good shoot, which was done. A number of 
tigers came out in the beats, but apparently the Governor and his 
party were indifferent shots. They were able to bag only one 
tiger between them. My uncle felt that Leake would like to join 
him as the beats bad shown a large number of tigers in that area. 
After about a fortnight, he and Leake went over the same area. 
Between them they bagged 4 tigers. On that occasion my 
unde got a right and left using his trusted .500 bore double- 
barrel rifle. 

The average Anglo-Indian shikari could always produce some 



THE SPORTSMEN AND THE SPORTSWOMEN OF INDIA 245 

hair-raising stories of narrow escapes. One, which my unde told 
me, is worth repeating. 

He and a Gond shikari were walking through the jungle when, 
suddenly, a tiger appeared in the bend barely thirty yards away. 
One of the pieces of advice that my uncle gave me, when I first 
started shooting, was never to fire at a tiger if he was looking at you. 
His theory was that even if the tiger was hit with the heaviest of 
bullets, in the heart, if he was at a distance of thirty yards, he would 
be able to kill the shikari before collapsing. On this occasion he 
apparently forgot his own advice : he brought his rifle to his shoulder 
and pulled the trigger. 

Apparently, Providence was with him. He had a misfire. 
Hearing the click, the tiger charged coming to a stop, within a few 
feet, snarling and lashing his body with his tail. 

My uncle said that his immediate reaction was one of cold terror. 
This was partly due to the Gond shikari being immediately behind 
him. The Gonds of Madhya Pradesh are fine shikaris and usually 
full of pluck. A good tracker, that shikari was, however, notorious 
for being extremely fleet-footed at the first sign of danger. My 
uncle was terrified that he would bolt, which would have meant 
the tiger killing them both. Fortunately, the Gond belied his 
reputation. Standing behind my uncle he followed his example 
and stared at the tiger. He even went one better : he growled out 
the imprecation, “Sala bap ko nahin pehchanta (You so-and-so, 
don't you recognise your father]).’’ The tiger snarled, lashed his 
sides with his tail and moved away. 

Some of us, as youngsters, shot our first big animal at the age of 
twelve or thirteen. Many Anglo-Indians started their bag of tigers 
in their teens. Shirley Forrester, who comes from an old Central 
Provinces family, qualified for the I.C.S. doing his examination in 
London. When he appeared for his viva voce interview, among 
the questions he was asked was whether he bad done any shooting 
since he came from one of the best shikar areas in India. He said, 
•Yes’. IVhen pressed as to whether he had shot any tigers, he again 
said, “Yes’. 

When asked how many— he was still a college student — he said, 
‘Eleven’. The examiners roust have thought that the young Anglo- 
Indian student was trying to pull the long bow. 

Shirley Forrester had, in fact, shot almost all his tigers on foot- 



246 THE STOUT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COiDTUNITf 

Several years later when he was District Magistrate at Hoshanga- 
bad, 2 tigers were apparently swept across the flooded river and 
lodged themselves in the nearby public garden or the garden of 
the ‘Burra’ Club. When they were spotted, there was generat 
consternation and arrangements were started to get a posse of 
police to deal with them. As soon as Forrester heard the news, he 
went down to the spot and stalking the tigers shot them both. 

The best shot that I have ever seen was Tyrrel Hawkins. The 
son of a senior railway official who left him a substantial legacy, 
Hawkins was able to indulge in his penchant for shooting. He had 
a fine armoury including guns made by Holland and Holland. 
On one occasion when he visited the U.K., Hawkins was invited 
by the management of Holland and Holland to a pheasant shoot 
at a well-known ducal estate. At the end of the shoot the other 
members of the party were dumbfounded by Hawkins' shooting: 
his bag was more than that of all the other guns put together. 

Hawkins often formed one of our party at the time when I 
used to shoot in the Madhya Pradesh jungles almost every week-end. 
Some of us preened ourselves on our shooting, but with Hawkins 
about we suffered almost from an inferiority complex. Quite 
literally, I never saw him miss whatever the bird, from jungle fowl 
and partridge to duck and snipe. And the bird always fell in the 
centre of" the pattern and dropped dead. 

Hawkins was equally good with the rifle. On one of our shoots 
I watched him pull down a running boar at a distance or at least 
250 yards. It would have been a good shot if the boar was standing. 
As it happened, the boar had broken from the beat and was bolting 
through an open space in the fields. Hawkins brought the boar 
down using a Springfield with a peep sight. On another occasion 
when we were beating for the usual sambhar, cheetal and pig, we 
were all on the ground sitting on our respective canvas stools. At 
the end of the beat after some of us had fired shots at different 
animals, Hawkins suddenly called out telling us to stay put as he 
had fixed at a tiger. It was winter, the jungle was dense and it 
was not a pleasant thought that a wounded tiger might charge from 
any direction. After a while Hawkins called out that everything 
was all right. I Ve went up and found a stone-cold tiger. Hawkins 
had taken him while he was slinking through some bushes offering 
a most difficult shot. Once again using a Springfield, he had 



THE SPORTSMEN AND THE SPORTSWOMEN OF INDIA 24? 

dropped him dead with a bullet placed at the junction of the neck 
and the shoulder. Personally, I would not use a Springfield for 
tiger. Although I have shot almost everything from Chinkara 
to Himalayan bear and tiger with my .350 Rigby Magnum, when 
deliberately going after a tiger I use my .450/400 d.b. hammerless 
ejector. 

On one occasion Hawkins was driving his car through (he jungle 
while I sat beside him. I noticed some jungle fowl on his side and 
pointed them out to him. Hawkins, while still driving the car, 
loaded his .12 bore and put it out of the car window. Two jungle 
fowl rose and flew almost parallel with the car : still driving, using 
one hand, Hawkins brought them both down with a right and a left. 
It would have been a fine shot with the shikari standing and using 
both hands! 

I have shot with Kami Singh, the Maharaja of Bikaner, who is 
a member of my Group, the Independent Parliamentary Group 
in the Lot Sabha. A few yean back my wife and I were the guests 
of the Maharaja and the Maharani at an Imperial grouse shoot 
in Bikaner. After an overnight stay at the famous l-albagh Palace 
we were driven to Gajner, which is 20 odd miles from Bikaner, 
to the ‘country’ Palace, so to apeak, of the Maharaja. In the 
afternoon we did a short duck shoot over the nearby lake where there 
were a few birds. In an hour’s shoot, between six guns, we bagged 
about 120 duck. Using a .20 bore Bikaner brought down his 
birds without missing a single shot. 

Next morning after a bath and breakfast, we drove about two 
and a half miles to the butts where the first droves of Imperial 
grouse were expected. This was my first Imperial grouse shoot. 
For several days in advance the local watchers had been out. They 
are so highly skilled in this business that they are able, literally, to 
count the number of birds when in flight. It was estimated that 
there were about 12,000 grouse in the vicinity. We took up 
our positions in our respective butts at about 7 a.m. This was 
the famous shooting ground of the former Viceroys of India. To 
Gajner went every Viceroy at the invitation of the ruler of 
Bikaner for the well-known Imperial grouse shoot. 

This was a real Maharaja shoot. The habits of the birds had 
been carefully studied. At 7.30 every morning they flighted in 
thousands over the butts to a large stream of water. This was the 



248 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

part of the flight that we were lined up for. The butts were interest- 
ing structures : in this particular line they were of wrought-iron, 
circular in shape, and with metal lattice-work around them. Inside 
each butt were two swivel stools. We had been in position for 
about 20 minutes when Bikaner called out, “Here they come'*. 
I was using my 25 inch cylinder barrels and was loaded with No. 
6 shot. In the distance I saw a long thin line of what looked like 
a wisp of smoke stretching against the skyline. This line gradually 
took on a firmer and larger shape and then I realised that it was 
the first Eight of Imperial grouse as they came at us. 

The Imperial grouse flies at about 60 miles per hour, if not 
faster. The first batch flew straight at me. I waited for them to 
whizz past and then took a right and a left. My luck was in and 
two birds plummetted to the ground. There were five of us in 
the first line. Bikaner was shooting away and so also were the 
other guns. Then the pace got faster and more furious. Batches 
of 20 and 30 kept swooping down in all directions going over to 
the drinking spot which was about a mile behind us. In the next 
few minutes while my barrels grew hotter my average was not so 
hot : in fact, it was becoming progressively colder. We finished in 
about forty minutes and then the beaters, who were to pick up the 
birds, started coming in all directions. They collected about 
100 odd birds. Bikaner was shooting with a .28 bore and yet 
his performance was first class. He got the largest number of shots 
and also the best average. 

We collected to discuss our gains and our losses. I confessed 
that I could not understand how my average was not better. 
While I regard myself as a very average, indeed, a poor duck shot, 
the fast flight of the Imperial grouse was much more in my line of 
quick shooting. On a good day I have averaged 7 out of 10 in 
snipe and 8 and even 10 out of 10 in partridge. Bikaner felt that-I 
was making a mistake by allowing the birds to pass me before taking 
the shot. I admitted that this was correct, as I preferred to take 
my birds on a side swing. He pointed out that it is difficult to shoot 
Imperial grouse in this way as they carry a tremendous amount of 
lead and should be taken coming head on. 

When we arrived at the next site of butts, I changed to my 28* 
choke barrels and took the birds from the front. Instead of carrying 
two or three shotguns, I have a . 12 bore with interchangeable sets 



THE SPORTSMEN AND THE SPORTSWOMEN OF INDIA 249 

of barrels. In the next half an hour to forty-five minutes we did 
nothing except to blaze at the oncoming llightj of grouse. I had 
shot about 40 birds in tins second venture and was feeling quite 
pleased with myself when I suddenly heard a shout from the line 
of shikaris. My shikari jerked my hand towards a line of on- 
coming birds and shouted "Pintail, Maro!” Bikaner called out to me 
and said, “You must get it.” I did not know whether I was going 
to get it, but I tried to pick out the pintail who was flying high and 
coming straight overhead, raking him with my barrels from back 
to front and pressing the trigger as I covered his head, I continued 
to swing. In an overhead shot this continuance of the swing, 
which is vital, ij fairly easy. There was a howl of delight from the 
shikaris as the pintail folded up and fell. One would have thought 
that I had bagged a rogue elephant or a predatory man-eating 
tigerl Bikaner mentioned that the pintail was a rare trophy as 
one pintail In a bag of 1000 Imperial grouse was about the average. 
That pintail, stuffed and mounted, is among my trophies. 

The beaters brought in altogether over 500 birds. We posed 
with only some of the birds as it was felt that in the New India, 
with increasing vegetarian sentiments, it would not do to be photo- 
graphed with the full bag! 

After an excellent lunch we got ready for the Houbara shoot. 
The Houbara is also known as the lesser Indian bustard. This 
was also my first experience of shooting Houbara. I got into a 
convertible Chevrolet driven by one of the A.D.Cs., popularly 
known as Jimmy. Two gum were put into each car. Bikaner 
had told us that Houbara shooting can lead to accidents as cars 
have to travel between 50 and 60 miles an hour, chasing the bird, 
and if the gun in the back seat loses his head he could easily shoot 
one of the occupants in front. He reminded us that this had 
happened on a previous shoot when the gun in a back seat had blown 
oft the elbow of the person in front. The other gun in my car was 
a Brigadier of the British High Commission. Bikaner told us that 
we would be lucky if we could get one or two Houbara per gun. 
We set out in our car and the others went in different directions. 
After we had gone about three or four miles the shikari, who accom- 
panied us, told us to cross into the fields. The terrain was fiat and 
covered with shrub jungle. After we had gone about a mile winding 
through the shrub jungle, Jimmy spotted a Houbara and speeded 



250 TUG STOUT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITT 

the car to about 50 miles dodging bushes and trees in the process. 
I was interested to see this bird, which was the first time for me. 
He is about three or four limes the size of a stone-plover, is grey 
flecked, has long legs a long neck and the male bird has a fine ruff. 
Incidentally, my attention was not concentrated entirely on the 
Houbara. Jimmy, the A.D.C., must have been the world’s prince 
of trick driven. As we swirled around bushes and trees in the 
direction of the Houbara, which by this time was taking a run in 
order to get air-borne, Jimmy swerved around a bush and told me 
to shoot, which I did. This kind of snap shooting was like mother’s 
milk to me: I had done this type of shooting for years in the old 
Central Provinces jungles — of course without the speeding car. 
With a right and a left from my .28 inch barrels the Houbara's 
airborne career was abruptly ended. I then got into the back seat 
and allowed the Brigadier to sit in the front for his shot. In a 
little while wc saw another Houbara and the Brigadier did his stufT. 
After the Brigadier had missed a couple of shots, Jimmy suggested 
that we should not take shots by turn but the pc non quicker on 
the draw would take the bird. 

Brought up to shoot with instinctive coordination of eye, hand 
and gun, I was able to poop off both barrels while the Drigadier was 
still bringing his .12 bore to his shoulder. On one occasion in his 
desire to catch up on a male bird, Jimmy speeded up to about 70 
miles an hour and how we avoided a tree I still do not know. As he 
avoided the tree, I took a crack at the Houbara through a bush 
while he was taking off. We were pleasantly surprised to sec him 
drop dead. It was a beautiful male bird with a lovely ruff. 

We tore around in the area, picked up 8 Houbara of which 
number I accounted for 6. With Jimmy swerving around on two 
wheels, dodging bushes and trees, it was quite a thrill. Jimmy was 
fulsome in his tributes to my shooting : I was even more fulsome in 
my tributes to his driving! When we got back we found that ours 
was easily the best bag. The other cars had between them shot al- 
together 5 Houbara. Bikaner told us that ours was a record bag 
as even 4 Houbara to one car was regarded as excellent. In- 
cidentally, the Houbara is very good to eat. 

Bikaner, is India’s ace shot in clay-pigeon and skeet and has 
represented the Country for several years at the World Olympics. 
In many ways he is an extraordinary shot. Yet I do not think that 



251 


■nm JTOHT 5 MEN and nir. sroftTWOUZN of ikou 

in a jungle he would bo no effective a, Hawking from “ 

to a uger .linking through .ho huaho. or a bolung boar a. 550 

Wood., a dental .urgeen in Johhulra.ro, ha, over 30 tiger, 
to hi, credit. Today, ho run. one of lodta’, preoatre .htta r Ihn u. 

A, bitd .hot,, too, Anglo-Indian, have predated ,orno .outand 
ing abikarit. A young Anglo-Indian pobooman A.tnworth Har 
rbon, wa, alway, inoiudod in the Viceroy , duck and tarf *<»“• 

A deadly .hot, bo could bo relied upon to onture a record tag- In 
Delhi, today, George O'Brien i, ..ill known a, an eaeellen. .httan 
and fitherntan. He or.en .hot with Via, anagram and one day he 
bagged 4 tiger,. Even, today, although he ha, undetgone . 
tctSn eye operation, he .till ,hoo„. U.he John, on of the I.C.S. 
told me an Eating ,toey. John, on hinuelf ., no mean >h to, 
hating accounted for a number of tiger, and brown H,mala>an 
bear. He nvear, by hi, Springfteld and urea "Oth.ng 'he. John.on 
mentioned tha, when George O'Drien gee, out for a duck >hoo 
nowaday,, he alway, keep, a .hikari .tandtng nea r him « he » an 
able to « the bird, in flight. The ,hto, warn, Turn that a ™pl' 
of bid, are coming toward, hint, tell, hue i on »h‘eh r.de 'h'y *re. 
George O'Drien .hoot, iodine, ively and ,..11 gen . ugh ^ and • 1. I 
when, a, Johnnm pun it. a pereon with the beat of eyegh, and 
the height or his powers would find it difficult to do so. 

Anglo-Indian women and even girls, especial y ' v h 

youngster, did thelr .hare or, hoc, ing. A gtrl eounn of mure, . Edtth 
Webb, tat barely eighteen when ,he .he. a „gn*n * 

met an Anglo-Indian family by the name of tave. 

large fa™ near Dehra Dun. Mr,. Carberey. who come, from the 
Powell family, has shot many tigers m her time. 

Builders Of Key Services 

The Railways , _ 

After the middle of the 19th century, the 

with pioneering Britons laid the first railway s cepe They 

JSSfiTi 



252 Tim stort of the Anglo-Indian cointOHirr 

for a period of 4 to 5 years. Because of the inhospitable, 
dangerous conditions under which work had to be done in those 
pioneering days up to 1920, members of the other communities were 
not forthcoming except for the lowest categories. With over a 
hundred years’ intimate association with the building and working 
of the Railways, Anglo-Indians developed an almost hereditary 
aptitude for Railway Sendee. 

In 1960, 1 led a deputation to meet Jawaharlal Nehru. We met 
him in the large interview room of the External Affairs Ministry. 
When I walked in with the deputation Nehru remarked that it was 
more an invasion titan a deputation. I had called a special meet- 
ing, in New Delhi, of the representatives of the Community and 
Anglo-Indian Schools to discuss the continuance of Anglo-Indian 
guarantees in respect of education and quotas in the Services 
especially the Railways. 

During the discussion I pointed out to Jawaharlal that employ- 
ment on the Railways had become almost an economic necessity 
for the lesser-educated Anglo-Indians. For generations fathers, 
sons and grandsons had entered certain departments without hav- 
ing to show any high paper qualifications. It was because of their 
near-heroic service that the Railways had been built to their present 
size and importance. I underlined the fact that with the raising 
of the educational qualification even for the lower categories of 
posts, the sense of duty, the efficiency in the Railways had rapidly 
declined. Graduates and undergraduates, obsessed with their 
paper qualifications but with no background of loyalty or family 
service to the Railway's, were being increasingly employed. To 
Nehru’s amusement I related what I had been told by an Anglo- 
Indian mail driver. That driver had taken his son for employ- 
ment. The family had served the Railway from generation to 
generation for a period of almost a hundred years. But the son was 
refused a fireman’s post because he had not completed the High 
School or Senior Cambridge. The father complained bitterly to 
me that instead a weedy, pigeon-chested youth, who had done his 
Intermediate, had been chosen. He put me a rhetorical question : 
"What comparison could there be between such a youth and his son, 
powerfully built, a boxer and an athlete, from whose veins, if they 
were cut, steam engines would emerge!” 

Up till about 1920, practically every engine-driver, guard, station 



Tire SPORTSMEN AND THE SPORTSWOMEN OF INDIA 253 

master and permanent way inspector was an Anglo-Indian or a 
Domiciled or Covenanted European. Anglo-Indians, usually of 
the fairer variety, reached the positions of Agents, now known as 
General Managers, Chief Engineers and General Traffic Managers. 
In order to break through the British wall of colour discrimination 
they had to masquerade as Europeans or at least as Doroioled 
Europeans. 

The stability and progress of the Railways depended on the Anglo- 
Indians. Strikes were short-lived because of the sense of duty not 
only of the Anglo-Indian raitwaymen but of their families. Thus, in 
1923, there svas a major strike on the then Eastern Raihray when 
even the Anglo-Indian schoolboys came to the rescue of the Ad- 
ministration and cleaned railway carriages. In 1927, the 
then Ben gal -Nagpur Railway was faced with a serious strike. 
Once again, the Anglo-Indian Community kept the wheels moving 
and prevented the strike from spreading to the other Railways. 
In 1928 there was another strike on the East Indian Railway when 
the Anglo-Indian raitwaymen served beyond the call of duty in 
order to keep the goods and passenger trains moving. 

Up to 1 925, 50% of the superior sen-ice vacancies were filled by 
promotion from the subordinate grades. In that year the Rail- 
way Board passed the order that only 15% were to be promoted to 
the official cadre. The channel of promotion hitherto open to the 
Community was thus severely restricted. In 1926 the Anglo- 
Indians held 8% of the superior posts, the other communities about 
21%, and Europeans about 70%. In the same year, out of a total 
of 762,553 railway employees 14,007 were Anglo-Indians. Gidney 
was able to get the Anglo-Indian quotas protected by the incorpora- 
tion of Section 242 of the Government of India Act of 1935. I was 
able to get a similar guarantee put into the Constitution of Inde- 
pendent India : that was Article 336 of the Constitution. Under 
that Article appointments of members of the Community to posts 
in the Railway, Customs, PostalandTelegraphservicesof the Union 
were to be made on the same basis as immediately before the 15th 
day of August, 1947. During every succeeding period of two years, 
the number of posts reserved for members of the Community 
svas to be less by 10% : at the end of ten years from the commence- 
ment of the Constitution all reservations were to cease. This pro- 
vision ensured that in the posts with which the Community had 



254 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO INDIAN COMMUNITY 

been associated in the past, such as, Fireman rising to the Driver 
and beyond that to the oflicial grade; Guard rising to Station 
Master and beyond that to the official grade; Assistant Permanent 
Way and Permanent Way Inspector rising to Engineer, Assistant, 
District and Divisional, the Community had a reservation of ap- 
proximately 8%. This guarantee wasted out by 1960. 

In their private moments even the most ardent advocates of the 
egalitarian principle will admit that with the decline in the em- 
ployment of Anglo-Indians, the sense of discipline and service in 
this great public utility concern has steadily and even precipitately 
fallen. Even today, the Anglo-Indian railwaymen are among the 
comparatively few who can be relied to do their duty and, indeed, 
more than their duty and not to hold the Country to ransom by 
going on strike at the drop of a cap by some irresponsible trade 
union or would-be trade union leader. 

Indian Telegraph Department 

For over 50 years the Anglo-Indians did the major part of the 
pioneering work in the building of the Telegraph Department. 

Up till 1916 the percentage of the Anglo-Indian employees in 
certain categories of the Telegraph Department was 66}%; by 
1920 the number had fallen to about 50%; and by 1928 it had come 
down to 40%. This percentage was, however, only in certain cadres, 
as the Anglo-Indians did not enter the class IV categories. Even 
up to 1928 the Community enjoyed a large share of the superior 
appointments reserved for promoted subordinates and also a large 
share of appointments in the superior traffic services. One of the 
best known Directors-General of the Post and Telegraph Depart- 
ment, Sir Geoffrey Clark, paid repeated tributes to the Anglo- 
Indians. He said that the Telegraph Department of India would 
not have been administered efficiently but for the Anglo-Indian 
employees. Many Anglo-Indians rose to the highest positions on 
the engineering and the traffic side. Carlton Cunningham, who 
entered the superior service by competition, was after Independ- 
ence the Senior Deputy Director-General of Posts and Telegraphs. 

Customs 

From its inception in 1915 till 1920, the Preventive Branch of the 
Customs Department, in Calcutta for instance, was entirely staffed 



THE SPORTSMEN AND TICE SPORTSWOMEN Or INDIA 


255 


by Anglo-Indians and Domiciled Europeans. The employment 
of Anglo-Indians in the Preventive Branch was a tribute to their 
special aptitude for the work. They had the special responsibility 
of preventing contraband articles from entering and leaving the 
Country. There was abo an Appraiser Branch of the Customs. 
Up till 1909 this branch was also exclusively staffed by Anglo- 
Indians and Domiciled Europeans. Under the guarantee provid- 
ed in Section 242 of the Government or India Act of 1935, die re- 
servations in favour of Anglo-Indians worked out to about 75% in 
the Preventive Branch and 50% in the Appraiser Branch. Section 
242 (3) provided that in framing the rules for the regulation of 
recruitment to posts in the Customs, Postal and Telegraph services, 
the Governor-General or person authorised by him in that behalf 
shall have due regard to the past association of the Anglo-Indian 
Community with the said services, and particularly to the specific 
class, character and numerical percentages of the posts previously 
held in the said services by members of the said Community and to 
the remuneration attaching to such posts. Article 336 of the Consti- 
tution provided that as with the Railway and Postal and Telegraph 
services so also with the Customs, the appointment of members of 
the Anglo-Indian Community shall be on the same basis as immedi- 
ately before the 15th day of August, 1947. As with the Railways, 
that special guarantee wasted out in 1960. 

The recommendations of the Simon Commission, as it was popu- 
larly known, referred to the fact that some time prior to 1916 ap- 
pointments to some of the provincial and higher services were made 
by nomination of suitable Anglo-Indians and members ofother com- 
munities. Anglo-Indians were required to hold a Senior Cam- 
bridge examination certificate because, as pointed out by the Simon 
Commission, they did not have the same difficulty with regard to 
English as it was their mother-tongue. Members of the other com- 
munities were required to possess a University degree. 

The Commission paid a tribute to the fact that the Community 
had helped to build the Roads, Railways, River Transport and the 
Telegraph system. The Commission also referred to the fact 
that the Anglo-Indians were among the pioneers to develop 
such departments as Excise, Salt, Opium, Forests, Surrey', 
but from these latter departments they had been practically 
eliminated. 



256 THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COilifUNTTf 

^°Fot many Auglmludim., 

uumbm, in .1- polio departments or *0 var.ous «»»• 

Provinces had a Sergeants’ cadre which was reserved for Anglo 
Indians. Many rose to Inspectors Deputy Supmntendcnt. ud 

Superintendents, but seldom beyond that. dis _ 

Anglo-Indian, fanned the baet-bone of the c.v.l po to- Th e <ln 
cipline and impartiality, espee.ally durmg communal trouble, sere 
due largely to the Anglo-Indian personnel. Unfortunately, their 
un-iee during the civil disobedience and non-coopentfon m ove - 
ment, was often held against the Community. After Independence, 
Sough the reserved Cadres disappeared, the A„ g mlndian. who 
had joined in pre-Independence days reached the highest 0<>5 
tions. Many were awarded the coveted police medal for out.tand 
ing or courageous service. 

JVof In Fact Privileged 

Because the Community was given certain reservations in certain 
categories of departments such as the Railways, Posts & Tt ’ c ^P 

and the Customs, the accusation was often hurled against the 

munitythat it was specially privileged. That accusation was cm 
strably fallacious. Admittedly, Anglo-Indians were predominate 
employed in the pioneering departments but only because mem 
of other communities were not prepared to accept the origi 
hardships and dangers. The Anglo-Indians were the pioneers 
but it is erroneous to suppose that they were handsome ) P* ■ 
A Telegraphist started on Rs. 27/- a month. He was given 
more subject to his liability to serve anywhere in India or Bl ^ la ‘ 
he thus had an initial total salary of Rs. 35/- a month. 1C 
the pioneering Anglo-Indians accepted these posts, there were no 
transport facilities, no medical services and no social amemties- 
They had to travel by whatever primitive means of transport were 
available. It often took 4 and usually 8 weeks to reach 
their destination. Several died of malaria. Tire employees a 
often to swim across swollen rivers or negotiate fever-infestc 
swamps. Many of them became chronic invalids Tor the rest o 
their shortened lives. It was the same story on the Railway*- 
The young Anglo-Indian started in a workshop on 4 annas a day. 
After a year or two he rose to 6 annas and gradually worked his way 



the sportsmen And the stortswouen op India 257 

•up to the position of a Driver, Foreman or an Engineer. There is 
perhaps not a railway bridge in any part or the Indian Railways 
that has not been traversed by the sweat, toil and often blood of the 
Anglo-Indian railwayman. The graveyards in the farthest outposts 
of Assam and Burma and in the deserts of Sind and Rajputana are 
hallowed by the memory of Anglo-Indian lathers, sons, mothers 
and daughters. It was only after the roads, transport facilities, 
medical and social amenities had become plentiful that the 
other communities began to accept and seek employment in these 
departments. 

The I.M.D. (. B.C .) 

The Indian Medical Department (British Cadre) as it was genera- 
lly known was the junior medical service doing duty with British 
troops : it came into regular existence in about IB90 and was known 
as the I.S.M.D. (The Indian Subordinate Medical Department). 
In a sense the precursors of the I.M.D. (B.C.) were the Apothecaries 
of the British Army. The Apothecary recruits were selected by 
officers commanding British regiments from the sons of British 
soldiers : they had the option of receiving their pay either in sterling 
or in rupees and to retire in England if they to wished. With the 
formation of the I.S.M.D., however, a four-year course of training 
was introduced and the pay and status was raised. Only Anglo- 
Indians or Domiciled Europeans were eligible for the Department. 
In 1920 a five-year course was introduced and only those with 
the Senior Cambridge or equivalent qualification were admitted as 
Military medical pupib. Between the period 1890 and 1920, many 
changes for the better took place. The name was changed to I.M. 
D. (B.C.) : the suffix B.C. or British Cadre was made to distinguish 
it from the I.M.D. (Indian Cadre) to which members of other com- 
munities were recruited but who did not have to serve with the 
British Army. 

Men of outstanding ability were trained in the different colleges, 
but they only received the diplomas of D.M.C. (Calcutta), MJ3.C. 
(Bombay) and D.M.C. (Madras). 'While these diplomas en- 
titled the holders to recognition as qualified medical men in India, 
the y were aot recognised in Britain. Because of this the Govern- 
ment raised the training period from four to five years and the M.M. 
F. (Membership of Medical Faculty of Bengal) was granted in place 



258 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

of the old diploma. Although the members were employed pri- 
marily for duty with British regiments, a certain percentage was for 
some time employed in the various Provincial Civil Medical Ser- 
vices as also in the jails and asylums. 

The quality of men who entered this Department was often out- 
standing. Many of them held their own with the British officers 
of the R.A.M.C. and I.M.S. The Department produced some 
of India's most eminent medical men. Among the galaxy of bril- 
liant members of the Department were Sir Patrick Hehir, K..C.1.E-, 
K.C.B., Sir John Tytler, Col. Mulrovvny, Col. Syke3, Col. O’ Gor- 
man and many others: they ultimately entered the I.M.S. by com- 
petition; Gidney was a distinguished product of the I.M.D. (B.C.). 

Col. A.D. Baptist, M.BX., played a notable part in establishing 
the high reputation of the School of Tropical Medicine, Calcutta, 
and the All-India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health. 

Many of the members of this Department, after retirement, were 
in the front rank of the profession in different parts of the Country. 
Thus my father, Dr. Richard John Anthony, after having been 
wounded in World War I was invalided out at a comparatively early 
age with a special military pension. He was then barely forty 
years of age. He set up practice in JubbuJpore and within a few 
years dominated the profession. His clientele was drawn from 
members of all communities-Europeans, Hindus and even ladies from 
the Muslim zenana and, of course, the Anglo-Indians. With a reputa- 
tion as a brilliant physician, with an uncanny skill in diagnosis, he 
was sought after for consultation by leading members of the I-M.S. 
and R.A.M.C. As a tribute to his eminence in his profession and 
the respect he commanded among all communities, the Jubbulpore 
Corporation, after his death in 1950, named one of the principal 
roads in the Civil Station after him. 

- Charles Bamford died in Bangalore, in 1959, at the age of 62, 
when he was at the height of his fame as a surgeon and gynaecologist. 
As a member of the I.M.D., he saw active service in France during 
World War I, Later, Bamford went to the U.K, where he did his 
M.R.C.S. and L.R.C.P. He was appointed lecturer in surgery iu 
the Salem Medical School and after that R.M.O. at the Bowring 
Hospital, Bangalore. During World War II he was appointed 
surgical specialist to many of the British hospitals in the Country. • 
Paul Van Ross, who joined the I.M.D. in 1935, was commission- 



THE SPORTSMEN AND THE SPORTSWOMEN OF INDIA 259 

ed in the I.M.S. in 1943. He retired from the Navy in 1948 and 
then set up private practice in Bangalore and is, today, in the front 
rank of the profession. 

The Department consisted of about 500 members. They served 
with the British Army in every theatre of war. In World Wars I & II 
many of them received the highest awards for gallantry. Some of 
them rose to the highest positions. Thus Major P.F. D’Mellow was 
appointed, during World War II, to the Indian Medical Sen-ice. 
He rose to be the PrincipalMedicalOlliceroftheRoyallndianNavy 
(as it was then known). He was decorated with the M.B.E. for zeal 
and devotion to duty and was commended for distinguished service 
during the Bombay Docks Explosion in 1944. D’Mellow was 
the Anglo-Indian representative in the Mysore State Legislature. 
He had developed into a competent politician. 

Members of the I.M.D. (British Cadre) started as British Warrant 
Officers in the regular land forces of the British Army.' They started 
as fourth class Assistant Surgeons. For purposes of discipline they 
came directly under the Army Act and not under the Indian Army 
Act. Gidney fought tenaciously for improvement of the conditions 
of his former Service. He pointed to the discrimination between the 
salaries of those who were recruited to the Indian Unattached List 
and those in the I.M.D. The members or the I.U.L., as they were 
known, required no special qualifications and yet their emoluments 
were higher. The Warrant Officers of the I.M.D. were given pre- 
cedence over every British Warrant Officer and yet received lower 
emoluments. The British Military Hospital nurses who took their 
orders from the Military Assistant Surgeon of the I.M.D. were in 
receipt of twice the salary and emoluments of the 4th class Military 
Assistant Surgeon of the I.M.D. As Gidney pointed out, a British 
Staff-Sergeant in the Indian Unattached List, which consisted of 
such departments as the Indian Army Service Corps, Indian Army 
Ordnance Corps, etcetera, and who were promoted from the ranks 
and usually had little education, received in salary and allowances 
about Rs. 380 per month, more than the salary of an Assistant En- 
gineer in the superior Railway services and almost double the salary 
©f the 4th class Military Assistant Surgeon in the I.M.D. After 
about eight years of service a British Staff-Sergeant in the I.U.L 
became a Major with total emoluments ofRs. 1,100 as compared 
with Rs. 700 of a Major in the I.M.D. Ultimately, Gidney’s fighting 



260 THE STORE OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

was responsible for the removal of much of this discrimination. The 
revised scale given to the I.U.L. was, however, only made available 
to the I.M.D. on the 1st October, 1927. From the rank of a British 
Warrant Officer, the I.M.D. men rose to the ranks of Lieutenant, 
Captain and Major. They could not rise beyond the rank of 
Major. 

Many of them went overseas and secured the highest British quali- 
fications. Before Independence members of the I.M.D. were re- 
garded by Gidney as the elite of the Community. That was the 
time when for an Anglo-Indian to aspire to the rank of Major 
was regarded as a pinnacle of achievement. British official policy 
saw to it that Anglo-Indians, as Anglo-Indians, could not move be- 
yond Upper-Subordinate status in Government service or beyond the 
800 rupee per month mark in British firms. 

Even while the war was on, I had to fight the twisted complexes 
of British officialdom. On the 24th November, 1944, I addressed 
General Hance, the Director-General of Indian Medical Services, 
about the very unsatisfactory position of the I.M.D. (British Cadre). 
I pointed out that no promotion roster had been maintained. Be- 
cause of this a man who was a Lieutenant in the I.M.D. before the 
war and had been seconded to the I.A.M.C., retired on the pension 
of a Lieutenant although he may have reached the rank of a Major 
in the I.A.M.C. I further pointed out that if the promotion roster 
had been maintained then according to the procedure in the I.M-D-. 
such a person would become a Captain in 1 J years and a Major m 
another year, retiring on the pension of a Major in the I.M.D., 
which was Rs. 200 more than the pension of a Lieutenant. 

In May, 1945, as a result of questions by me in the Central Legis- 
lative Assembly (as it was then known) I extracted a disclosure 
which came as a bolt from the blue to the Community. The 
War Secretary informed me that the authorities had scrapped the 
I.M.D. (B.C.) from 1941 and not merely discontinued recruitment to 
it. In my letter to the Commander-in-Chief I pointed out that 
the Department had been in existence for almost a hundred years 
and that it had a long record of proud and distinguished service 
with the British Army. As long as the British Army continued 
in India there could be no reason why the I.M.D. (B.C-) should 
be destroyed. I also pointed out that by being seconded to the 
I.A.M.C. the senior members would lose considerably in pay and 



Tim SPORTSMEN AND THE CTORTTOOUZK Or DOHA 261 

emoluments. Many of them were retiring on a rank and a pension 
much lower than that to which their service normally entitled 
them. 

Ultimately, in 1946, as a result of discussions with and represen* 
tations by rne to the Commander-in-Chicf several members of the 
I.M.D. who had retired on the pension of Lieutenant were granted 
pensions according to the length of their service as Majors and 
Captains. The members of the I.M.D. had rendered particularly 
distinguished service in World War II, when during the acute 
shortage of trained personnel they formed the back-bone of the 
Indian Medical Service. But they never got the terms given to 
the usually uneducated British members of the I.U.L. This was, 
indeed, the last kick. I saw Sardar Patel. I gave him the history 
of the I.M.D. (B.C.) I pointed out that not only educationally 
but officially they were superior to the I.U.L. While the mustering* 
out terms for the I.U.L. were more than generous, those given to 
the I.M.D. were not only niggardly but deliberately discriminatory. 

Generously, Sardar Patel said that if the British medical and 
military authorities recommended equal mustering-out terms, he 
would see that the I.M.D. (B.C.) got those terms. But I regret to 
say that I could not get the British authorities to do elementary 
justice. It would have cost them nothing. I got little comfort 
from the fact that a very senior Irish officer in the Medical Directorate 
worked almost day and night to help me get justice for the I.M.D, 
personnel. When I failed that Irishman remarked that it was 
just another instance of typical British ingratitude and perverted 
sense of race and colour discrimination! 

Incomparable Nurses 

Dr. A Lakshmanaswami Mudaliar, Vice-Chancellor of the Madras 
University, presiding over a mass meeting addressed by me on the 
language issue in October, 1963, at Madras, said that while India 
owed much to the Anglo-Indian Community it could never repay 
the debt it owed on account of the “Devoted and glorious service” 
rendered by the Anglo-Indian nurses. The record of the Anglo-Indian 
nurses is perhaps unequalled. 80% of the Nursing Services were, 
for decades, drawn from the Anglo-Indian Community which along 
with the Parsis is the smallest recognised minority in the Country. 
The Indian Statutory Commission of 1928, commonly known as the 



262 THE STORE OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Simon Commission, paying a tribute to the Anglo-Indian nurses 
said, “They have given of their best in tending to the sick of all 
races and have thus done something towards meeting one of the 
foremost and most urgent needs in Indian society. 

Free from the caste and other inhibitions of the women of other 
communities, the girls and women of the Community were res- 
ponsible for maintaining, in hospitals, standards comparable with 
those of the most advanced countries. The girls who took to nursing 
had a sense of vocation. They built up a tradition of selfless service, 
indeed, of dedication to their profession. Many of them came from 
the finest of homes where they had every comfort and, indeed, 
luxury. They were well-educated and refined. The beauty of 
some of the Anglo-Indian nurses was proverbial. Many of them 
married the most highly placed Europeans. They took to 'the 
nursing profession at a time when the emoluments were not only 
niggardly but scandalously inadequate. Even, today, the emolu- 
ments are grossly inadequate. 

Comparisons tend to be odious, but the objective observer will 
agree that with the steadily decreasing number of Anglo-Indian 
nurses and, indeed, their disappearance from many of the leading 
hospitals the standards in these hospitals have declined. Where, 
today, there is still an Anglo-Indian matron or even a small stiffen- 
ing of Anglo-Indian nurses the standards are usually better than 
in hospitals where there is no element of Anglo-Indian nurses. 

The dominant role of the Angto-Indian nurses continues to be 
indicated by the fact that since Independence the post of Chief Prin- 
cipal Matron of the Indian Military Nursing Service has been held 
by an Anglo-Indian. Immediately after Independence the Chief 
Principal Matron was Col. (Mrs.) Dorothy Howard. The post has 
been redesignated and is now known as Matron-in-Chief with the 
rank of Brigadier. The present Matron-in-Chief is Brigadier (Miss) 
Dulcie Zscherpel. During the Indo-Pakistan conflict the Matron- 
in-Chief was Brigadier (Miss) Joyce Staggs. 

The Florence Nightingale Medal is awarded every two years to 
nurses who have rendered service of exceptional merit. The awards 
are made by a special Commission of the International Red Cross 
Committee in Geneva. The names of Anglo-Indian nurses have 
appeared over and over again among the recipients of this coveted 
nursing award. I refer to only a few of the recipients : Col. (Mrs.) 



THE SKJRTSireS AND THE SPORTSWOMEN OP INDIA 263 

Dorothy Howard, the first Chief Principal Matron after Independ- 
ence; Col. (Miss) Dorothy Davis, who succeeded her as Chief 
Principal Matron ; Dorothy Davis was the recipient also of the Cross 
of Jerusalem and the Royal Red Cross award; Col. (Miss) Florence 
St. Claire Watkins, who is at present Command Principal Matron 
(Southern Command) : a recipient of the Florence Nightingale 
Medal she was also awarded a certificate for outstanding service in 
the Middle East during World War II. There were many Anglo- 
Indian nurses among the recipients of the Florence Nightingale 
Medal in pre-Independence days. I recall the name of Winifred 
Grace McKenzie. The award was conferred on her because she 
had displayed outstanding devotion to duty at the Indian Military 
Hospital in Ferozeporc in 19-15 during an outbreak of Cerebro- 
spinal Meningitis. 

- Among recipients of the Royal Red Cross award were Col. (Miss) 
Olga Mylan and Col. (Miss) Winifred Gardiner. Col. (Miss) 
Loucielle Braganza, at present Command Principal Matron 
(Western Command) was awarded a certificate from the Comman- 
der-in-Chief of the Middle East Forces for outstanding service dur- 
ing World War II, 

Dr. Lakshmanaswami Mudaliar was, indeed, right when he said 
that India owed an irreparable debt to the incomparable Anglo- 
Indian nurses. 



CHAPTER XI 


POST-INDEPENDENCE 

BATTLE S 

The Menace Of Hindi Imperialism 

I HAD hoped that after a long, unremitting fight, over a period of 
several years, for the existence of the Community, I could have 
sat back and rested somewhat on my oars. But for the leader of a 
microscopic minority confronted, inevitably perhaps, by all manner 
of pressures this was not to be. As we faced or surmounted one 
problem, another took its place. I have always been of the view 
that without its language, English, and without its schools, the 
Community cannot survive, because essentially we are a Community 
based on language and a way of life which give us our distinctive- 
ness and distinctive recognition. That is why one of the constant 
preoccupations of our Association has been not only the preserva- 
don of Anglo-Indian education but to strengthen it at every stage. 
The Association has kept vigil on developments not only at the 
Centre but in every State. 

Mysore Recommendation 

The attitude of some State Governments against the Anglo- 
Indtan Schools and instruction through the medium of English was 
exemplified by the recommendation in February, 1953, of the Edu- 
cational Reforms Committee appointed by the Mysore Government. 
That Committee recommended that the Anglo-Indian Schools 
so e allowed only a reasonable period of transition for a change- 

over rom English to the regional language as the medium. I prompt- 
ly wrote the following letter to the then Chief Minister of Mysore, 
No. Ed/53 7th March, 1953. 

My dear Hanumanthiah, 

_ ! h ,o V ,V Cen l rep ° rt in the Deccan Herald dated the 27th Febru- 
Reform p' Vlt . rC ^ arC * t0 rcc °nunendations of the Educational 



POST-tN-DETESDESCE BATTLES 


2G5 


I have received an urgent message from my Community in 
Bangalore. It is seriously perturbed by the recommendation that 
tbe Anglo-Indian Schools should be allowed a reasonable period of 
transition for a change-over from English to the regional language. 
1 do not know whether the Committee was aware of the guarantees 
contained in Article 30 of the Constitution. Under this guarantee 
every minority, whether based on language or religion, has been 
given the fundamental right to establish and administer educational 
institutions of its choice. When the provision was on the Consti- 
tutional anvil, I moved an amendment after the word choice, name- 
ly, through the medium of its mother-tongue. No less a person than 
Jawaharlal Nehru said that this was redundant as ‘choice’ meant 
choice and a minority based on language, such as the Anglo-Indians, 
would naturally choose to teach through the medium of its mother- 
tongue, which is English. 

This position has been accepted by other States. At the same 
time, as Chairman of the Inter-State Board for Anglo-Indian Educa- 
tion, I am aware of the need for adapting the curriculum in these 
schools to changing social, economic and cultural conditions. Be- 
cause of that Anglo-Indian Schools are, perhaps, in the vanguard 
in this respect among the schools maintained by minority commu- 
nities. The standards of teaching of the regional language and 
Hindi are being progressively upgraded. But as I hate already said, 
the Anglo-Indian Community, which is one of the recognised Indian 
minorities and whose mother-tongue is English, has, under Article 
30, the permanent and inalienable right to administer educational 
institutions of its choice carrying the clear implication of teaching 
through the mother-tongue of the Community, namely, English. 

I believe that the local MLA, Mr. Thomas, and Mr. Corbett, 
the President of the Bangalore Branch of the Association, with a 
deputation, will be waiting on you and the Minister for Education 
to clarify this position. 

With my kind regards. 

Yours sincerely, 

Sd/- Frank Anthony.” 

Shri K. Hanumanthiah, 

Chief Minister, 

Mysore Government, 

Mysore-2 



266 THE STORY OP TICE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

As a result of my intervention withHanumanthiah, who hasploved 
to be a good and continuing friend of the Community, this pro- 
posal was put into cold storage by the Mysore Government. Ulti- 
mately, we had to face this issue in Bombay. 

Opposition To Linguistic States 

At everystage, I opposed strongly, and usually alone, in Parliament 
the proposal to reorganise the States on a linguistic basis. In August 
1952, speaking in the Lok Sabha, I registered a strong and unquali- 
fied protest against the motion for the formation or linguistic States. 

I quote some of the more important extracts from my speech. 

“Belonging to a linguistic group or sub-group, I can understand 
the motive of genuine fear which inspires many of these claims for 
linguistic provinces. There is fear and there is good basis for fear 
in the minds of linguistic groups. I say this with all respect to my 
friends who are seeking to propagate Hindi overnight. Hindi has 
been accepted as the official language. I say that it can be the 
official language of this Country. But what is happening, Sir? 
We see that the intolerance and aggressiveness on the part of Hindi 
fanatics are creating a corresponding resistance characterized by 
this increasing demand for linguistic provinces. The more the 
Hindi fanatics will parade this demand for Hindi being imposed 
overnight, equally will this cry for linguistic separatism be accentu- 
ated. The other motive, as I see it, is the motive of ill-concealed 
communalism. I know that in making this plea for linguistic pro- 
vinces, people will not only deny, but indignantly deny, that their 
motives are even remotely communal. I say this with all respect, 
that many of those who are pleading the case for linguistic provinces, 
that spiritually they are akin to the former Muslim Leaguers, and 
that the motives which underlie their claims for linguistic provinces 
are indistinguishable from the motives of the Muslim Leaguers. 
Stripped of verbiage, what are these motives? The motives of many 
of those who are claiming linguistic provinces arc to create enclaves, 
cultural enclaves, administrative enclaves, and political enclaves, 
which the predominant group will make a happy hunting-ground 
for the privileges of that particular group. In effect, while the 
Pakistan demand was based on a two-nation theory, I submit that 



POST-INDEPENDENCE BATTLES 267 

the demand for linguistic provinces is based equally on a multi- 
nation theory'." 

"Indian history has shosvn us that through the centuries parochial, 
regional or State loyalties have more often than not outweighted or 
overborne national loyalties. I say this with ail seriousness that vse 
are still trying to, in the formative stage — try ing to be one nation. 
We are not a nation as yet — and we have yet to build, firmly, 
the various constituents of nationhood. If, in this incipient 
Stage, we accept even in principle linguistic provinces, then 
I say tve will revive and inOame regional loyalties to such an 
extent that they’ will destroy and consume our nascent national 
loyalties.” 

“As I was saying, Sir, the first great surrender, the first great re- 
treat that the Congress beat was when they accepted, against the 
advice of Mahatma Gandhi, that the official language of this 
country should be Hindi instead of Hindustani. I say that. . . . 
(Time bell rings) that was the first great retreat they beat. Today, 
the Congress party is faced with another language challenge. The 
Congress has not yet stopped beating a retreat on the language front. 
Jfon this particular issue, Sir, the Congress makes another surrender, 
then I say it will be releasing into the political arena opposing lingui- 
stic armies which will make Pakistan and the Muslim League 
theories pale into insignificance. I say that you will not have parti- 
tion of the Country into two parts, but you will have partition, but- 
chering of the Country, into multiple parts, as great in number as 
you will have linguistic provinces. I see my friend (referring to Dr. 
Katju the Home Minister) shaking his head. I hope the shaking of 
his head does not represent the considered opinion of his party. I 
say that the only approach to this problem is the approach irom a 
rational linguistic point of view. Jawaharlal Nehru has done well 
in tackling communal political bodies. That is an issue with 
which he has joined battle, but he has failed today to join battle with 
the new communalism, the communal ism represented by this new 
phrase — coined by K.M. Munshi — Jinguism. I say it is a new com- 
munal Lsn which is hydra-headed. It lias a greater potential for 
danger than the old communalism with which Jawaharlal Nehru 
has battled in this Country. And the only way in which the Con- 
gress party can deal -with it is by applying itself— it is long overdue — 
to the problem of language.” 



268 THE STORT OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMVXTIT 

Bitter Opposition To Formation Of Andhra Pradesh 

In August, 1953, practically alone I opposed bitterly the bill for 
the formation of the Andhra State. Commenting on the debate, 
the special representative of The Statesman, New Delhi, dated the 
28th August, 1953, wrote, “In a debate which will certainly echo 
for a goad many years in India, Mr. Anthony’s speech was a cour- 
ageous one, as Mr. P.D. Tandon remarked. In the context of eco- 
nomic distress in the country he described the present concern with 
linguistic States as an ‘utter perversion of priorities’. The argu- 
ment that it represented the fulfilment of a Congress promise he 
dismissed with the reply that many other promises remained un- 
fulfilled — such as that to separate the judiciary and the executive. 
The concession of a linguistic State to Andhra, he said, was a ‘host- 
age to disintegration.*' 

I reproduce my speech : it recaptures not only my unhappy con- 
viction that we were giving irrevocable hostages to disintegration 
but also my ominous predictions which as time has shown were 
tragically prophetic. 

“Shri Frank Anthony : (Nominated Anglo-Indian) 

“Mr. Deputy Speaker, I perhaps am going to tnjoy the unique- 
ly unenviable position of being the only person to oppose this bill 
outright. I know that my attempt is going to be a lone and a for- 
lorn one. But I am not without the hope that people like me may 
ultimately attract the saner elements in the Country into resistance — 
people without any political axe to grind, without any motive of 
personal self-aggrandisement — may attract them into an aware- 
ness of the unlimited dangers of the policy to which the Home 
Minister has committed this Country. May I say this. Sir, that I 
was convinced more than ever, after hearing the Home Minister, 
that the Government had conceded the Andhra State in a mood of 
weakness or vacillation or even in a mood of political opportunism. 
(Some Hon. Members. No. No.) I listened to the Home Minister, 
for as long as I could; I heard him for 25 minutes. During all 
that time what the Home Minuter did was to regale the House 
with details as to why the Andhra State should not have been 
brought into existence at this particular juncture. 

What The Urgtmy Of This Measure 

“I would like to ask the Home Minister this. What was the parti- 



roST-tN DUESDDJCC BATTLES 260 

cular urgency for this measure in the context of the economy of the 
Country? Would the Andhras have been exterminated? Would 
our economy have disintegrated and fallen to pieces if this malform- 
ed, deformed and truncated State had not come into existence on 
the 1st of October? (Interruptions) I am sorry, I have not got the 
time; if I had, I would reply to every Hon. Member categorically. 
Those of us who are outside the arena — I am outside the arena so 
to speak and it is an axiom that the onlookers see most of the game — 
many of us— feel strongly that Government has been stampeded into 
this, beaten a retreat in the face of political blackmail, by fasts, 
riots and violence.” 

“Another line of argument, and perhaps categorically emphasised, 
was that this promise was made by the ruling party about 30 years 
ago. We were given the impression that here is a ruling party 
which is not only sensitive, but tremulously sensitive to all its 
promises, and it is honour bound to implement them. I say, with 
all respect, this line of argument struck me as being so much political 
cant and hypocrisy. What about other promises, equally vital 
promises by the ruling party, promises which affect not a small area 
like the Andhra State but the whole Country? What about the 
separation of the Executive from the Judiciary? Your motive here, 
I am sorry to say, is a political motive; it does not suit you to separate 
your power-drunk executive from the judiciary; something which 
will give real meaning and significance to Independence. You for- 
get about that much more vital and much more sacred promise, 
but from political motives you constitute this malformed State. Our 
only problem is the economic rehabilitation of the Country and that 
alone should have absorbed all our energies.” 

“What does Indian history show over and over again? History 
has a way of repeating itself. What are the forces and bonds which 
have united India? The three bonds which still keep Indians more 
or less as a single nation are the unified administration introduced 
by the British, secondly the person and personality of Jawaharlat 
Nehru, and, thirdly a common medium of expression between the 
leaders of the Country. The first two are extremely transient. Al- 
ready the mortar of unity of the administrative machinery is crumbl- 
ing under the impact of regionalism. A vote-catching competition 
is going on among all the political parties for the services to be rc- 
gionalised. Unfortunately Jawaharlal Nehru— I am sorry to say 



270 THE STORY OF THE ANGTjO-INDIAN COltirUNITY 

he is not here — has been unable to resist that. 

Then there arc the language fanatics, who without the wisdom 
and statesmanship and capacity first to substitute in the place of the 
common medium of expression some single national language, are 
wiping out English. 

Seth Govind Das : Remember the Constitution. 

Hostage To Disintegration 

Shri Frank Anthony and I regret that you are giving this 

hostage to disintegration. What has my hon. friend the Home 
Minister said? In his pontifical way he asked Mr. Gopalan to accept 
this as a solemn act. Mr. Gopalan has used it to initiate a still 
greater process of disintegration. My Hon. friend the leader of the 
Communist Party has threatened you in so many words that this is 
only the beginning or your trouble. You have gratuitously perpetra- 
ted a man-made problem for this Country. Who is it going to 
satisfy? Those people who are engaged in an unseemly contro- 
versy for the spoils of office. It is going to satisfy the unemployed 
element in your legislatures. They see in their own legislature an 
opportunity for more lucrative and more permanent employment. 
It is going to satisfy the unabashedly communal elements in Andhra, 
who think in terms of the loaves and fishes of office. (An Hon. 
Member: "No, No.”). My Hon. friend says "No." What is sauce 
for the goose must be sauce for the gander. Why, when Mr. Hukum 
Singh asked for a Punjabi-speaking State, did somebody raise his 
hands in horror. Why, when the Sikhs make that demand do you raise 
your hands and say : “This is a communal demand." Why — I am 
not pleading anyone's case, I am only arguing by analogy — why 
when 16 million Muslims in Uttar Pradesh do not ask for a separate 
State but only ask for a small measure of cultural autonomy to teach 
their mother-tongue, once again you call it a communal demand.” 
“But when your co-religionists ask for a separate State you endow 
it with noble and lofty motives. When your co-religionists demand 
it, it assumes the refinements of a natural, irrepressible and cultural 
urge. That is what is happening.” 

“If you really want to serve the linguistic minorities set your face 
against linguism. The greatest guarantee for a linguistic minority 
is not a linguistic State but a muld-lingual State. Whenever you 
place one language in a position of unchallenged supremacy, then 



■ > POjr-tNDEPEKDESCE BATTLES 271 

the people whose mother-tongue happens to be that language will 
oppress and destroy the real linguistic minorities. It is happening 
in Uttar Pradesh. It will happen in Andhra and it will happen in 
every linguistic State. This means not cultural autonomy for the 
linguistic minorities — it means cultural death.” 

“One of our poet friends with typical poetic hyperbole referred not 
in lyrical but hysterical language to svhat he described as a festival 
of culture being ushered in by linguistic States. Fortunately, 
neither poets nor madmen arc the best judges of hard-bitten politi- 
cal or administrative problems.” 

“What was going to happen to the Andhras if they did not have 
a linguistic State? * Were they going to be physically exterminated? 
This is so much political cant and hypocrisy. Telcgu is one of the 
major regional languages. The Telegus have already achieved 
cultural autonomy. They have their schools and colleges. This 
is not a cultural but a political cry.” 

i “Today the Country is bleeding to death. Millions and millions 
of people are starving or are near starvation. Every penny we 
have we should have spent on food, clothing and housing. Today 
you are indulging in cheap political tomfoolery. What is going to 
happen? You are going to spend crores of rupees on Andhra. 
You will not only drive national unity into the background but into 
ultimate oblivion. (Seth Govind Das: “No. No.”). My Hon. 
friend says “No. No," but let him face facts. When Andhra comes 
in, my Hon. friend will not be able to go to Madras. The Dravida 
Kazhagam will drive him out. When you are canalising your emo- 
tional feelings into narrow regional tendencies you will drive out all 
thoughts of one nation and one language. That is what is going to 
happen. I pray to God that I may prove to be a false prophet.” 
'• “Mr. Justice Wanchoo has calculated the Andhra State as a deficit 
State. He has calculated the deficit as Rs. 5 crores. Today, the 
political bandwagon represents a rake’s progress. When all of your 
politicians get into the saddle, you will see more and more expendi- 
ture, which the British never even dreamt of— all the pomp of imperial 
tiroes and the paraphernalia of so-called democracy, the importing 
of hordes of Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, 
hordes of gilt-braided chaprassis. Let your political “nouveau riche” 
get going. Let them have all their political sops and your defi cit in 
Andhra will not be 5 but 15 crores. There is this utter perversion 



272 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

of priorities in this Country. The Finance Minister 'is here: one 
of the wickedest acts he perpetrated was to take away the food 
subsidies : he made the food of the people dearer just to save 15 
crores : yet without batting an eyelid we are prepared to waste as 
many crores in starting an unnecessary, deformed State. You are 
performing not an act of folly but an act of treason. Fifty years 
from now the Home Minister will be indicted by posterity and be 
damned. His effigy will be either hanged or burnt. He won’t be 
there; he has a facile manner of dismissing a problem by a wave of 
the hand; but by oversimplifying it, he won’t be there to exculpate 
himself even partially.'’ 

“1 blame all the parties, the Praja Socialist, the Communist and 
others : they are all playing the same game. They know it is a pro- 
blem of language — a highly emotional problem. It is like the 
Muslim problem of ‘Islam in danger’. It is an irrational pro- 
blem. TTiey know that an emotional, irrational problem can be 
exploited by political adventurers as a vote-catching device. I am 
sorry the Leader of the House is not here. I have got a very great re- 
gard for him. I did expect that he at least would have said : “Let 
us stop this disintegration and disruption of the Country", but in a 
moment of weakness he has agreed to this.” 

“Privately, at any rate, all parties will admit that they should not 
release these centrifugal forces. But publicly they all engage in vote- 
eatching. That is what is happening. You do not have the 
strength, you do not have the statesmanship, the courage to say: 
“Let the Communists vote-catch as much as they like. Let the Praja 
Socialists compete with them. We will, at this stage at any rate, 
stop any tendency to encourage centrifugal forces. We will concentr- 
ate on one thing, and one thing only, and that is to give our starving 
people some food, our naked people some clothes, our homeless 
people some shelter.” (Speech Ends) 

An interesting sidelight during my speech was that Dr Katju, the 
then Home Minister, walked out of the House in protest when 
1 said he would be indicted and damned by posterity, his effigy 
hanged or burnt for what he was doing. 

I received many letters of congratulation. They showed that 
there was a strong element in the Country that had not lost vision, 
indeed sanity, on basic issues. Unfortunately, the correspondence 
also showed that the thinking elements in the Country have more 



rOST-TMD'CHNDENCE BATTXTS 


273 


and more receded into a position of political impotence. Political 
power has filtered down increasingly into the hands of the demago* 
guts, the opportunists, the little essentially uneducated men, with 
their petty, parochial horizons. 

Writing to me from the U.P., a well-known personality said, 
“Hearty congratulations on your brilliant speech in Parliament in 
the course of the debate on the formation of Andhra State. Even 
the ranks of Tuscany could scarce forbear to cheer! You were the 
one member who was not afraid to face facts." 

Fight For Minority Safeguards 

Finding that I was practically in a minority of one in Parliament 
in my resistance to the suicidal political propulsions to disintegra- 
tion, I addressed myself to salvaging some kind of meaningful safe- 
guards for the linguistic minorities from the welter of confused think- 
ing, the rank opportunism, the mealy-mouthed hypocrisies of even 
the top leaders. In fact, I fought a long, grim battle from the 
2nd of July, 195G, in the Joint Select Committee on the States Re- 
organisation Bill and the Constitution (Ninth Amendment) Bill till 
September when the debate in the Lok Sabha concluded. 

In the Joint Select Committee I had the majority of the Committee 
behind me in my several proposals but at that stage, Govind Ballabh 
Pant, the Home Minister, was not prepared to concede any worth- 
while guarantees to the linguistic minorities. 

I reproduce my minute of dissent as it has a permanent validity 
for the linguistic minorities in the Country. 

Minute Of Dissent To States Reorganisation BUI 

“I append this minute of dissent to the reports of both the States 
Reorganisation Bill and the Constitution (Ninth Amendment) Bill 
in a mood not only of disappointment but of sadness. I wish to 
draw pointed attention to the fact that the States Reorganization 
Bill and the Constitution (Ninth Amendment) Bill art both disfigured 
by the complete absence of a single guarantee or safeguard for the 
linguistic minorities. I use the words ‘guarantee’ or ‘safeguard’ 
advisedly. A guarantee or safeguard carries the implication of the 
recognition of a right which is enforceable. In both the bills there 



274 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

is not a single sanction or a single enforceable provision given to the 
linguistic minorities.” 

Gap Between Promise And Performance 

‘‘The Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the Congress Working 
Committee, the A.I.C.C. have repeatedly proclaimed, in recent 
months, the need for ample and generous guarantees to the linguistic 
minorities.” 

“The absence of a single guarantee or safeguard on behalf of the 
linguistic minorities marks a sad gap between promise and perform- 
ance and is a challenge to the conscience of the Government. This 
lacuna underlines, I submit with respect, the inability of those in 
power or of those belonging to majority groups to understand the 
real fears, born of bitter experience, of linguistic minorities. Promises 
and paper assurances which have no legal or executive sanction are 
poor comfort to those who, in their day-to-day lives, come up against 
the stark and cruel realities of discrimination and oppression." 

Analysis Of The Two Provisions 

“It might be said by Government, in reply.that two provisions haw 
been included for the protection of lingustic minorities — the provision 
for Zonal Councils contained in Clause 23 of the S.R. Bill and the 
provision for Minority education in Clause 21 of the Constitution 
{Ninth Amendment) Bill. I do not wish to decry these provisions. 
But in the final analysis neither of these provisions is a guarantee ora 
safeguard. Even a cursory examination of these provisions shows this.” 

“The linguistic minorities are one of the subjects which fall with- 
in the purview or Zonal Councils. I am glad that the phraseology 
was changed, at my instance, in the Joint Commitee so that any 
matter affecting the linguistic minorities will be within the purview 
of a Zonal Council. Under the original language only those 
matters, concerning linguistic minorities which arose out of the re- 
organisation of the States were within the competence of Zonal 
Councils. Even with this change, however, what is the effect of 
this provision? A Zona! Council shall be an advisory body. There 
arc absolutely no legal or executive teeth in this provision. Even if 
a linguistic minority right is raised in a Zonal Council the State con- 
cerned can refuse to attend the meeting. If it condescends to at- 
tend it can treat with undisguised contempt even the unanimous 



POST-INDEPENDENCE BATTLES 


275 


finding of the other member States of the Council. Zonal 
l Councils will be helpless to bring an errant State to order or to 
prevent the open oppression of a linguistic minority. The provision 
that Zonal Councils can consider linguistic minority questions is 
thus not a guarantee or safeguard. This provision suffers from the 
further defect that only those minorities with political influence will 
be able to have matters raised in Zonal Councils. Thus the Bengali 
minority in Biliar will be able to agitate its rights, only because the 
Bengalis are in a majority in Bengal. The same will apply to the 
Bihari minority in Bengal. But a minority without political in- 
fluence in any State will have to suffer in silence.” 

"Clause 21 of the Constitution (Ninth Amendment) Bill provides 
the insertion of a ness- Article 3 50 A to read as follows : 

“350A. It shall be the endeavour of every State and of every local 
authority within the State to provide adequate facilities 
for instruction in the mother-tongue at the primary stage 
of education to children belonging to linguistic minority 
groups; the President may issue such directions to any 
State as he considers necessary or proper for securing the 
provision of such facilities.” 

This provision is also of an advisory character. All it says is that 
it shall be the endeavour of a State to do a certain thing. We are 
aware that Article 45 of the Directive Principles of the Constitution 
has provided, using identical language, that it shall be the endeav- 
our of the State to provide, within a period of 10 years from the 
commencement of the Constitution, free and compulsory educa- 
tion. The ten years are nearing completion, yet not a single State 
has been able to implement this direction of the Constitution. Of 
course, this has been due to lack of financial resources. Similarly, 
with regard to this new provision, the States are bound to plead that 
they just cannot provide primary education in the mother-tongue 
to linguistic minorities because they have not got the means.” 

"In this provision there is no obligation on the part of a State to 
provide primary education. The linguistic minorities might have to 
wait several decades, at least, before this •endeavour* becomes a reality. 

“Thus the only two provisions, one in the States Reorganisation 
Bill and the other in the Constitution Amendment Bill are purely 
advisory and not in the nature of a guarantee or safeguard.” 



276 


THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMHUNITT 


S.R.C. Recommendations 

“Yet the States Reorganisation Commission considered the pro- 
blem of the linguistic minorities important and serious enough to 
devote a whole chapter to it — chapter I of Part IV of the Report en- 
titled ‘Safeguards for Linguistic Minorities’ (pages 205-216). The 
Commission has, in this chapter, recorded the fact that it received 
numerous complaints that linguistic minorities suffered from cul- 
tural oppression and economic exploitation. The Commission gave 
the examples of arbitrary domiciliary qualifications and language 
tests for recruitment to the services adopted by certain States with 
the intention of striking at certain minorities.” 

“The Commission drew attention to the fact that it was strongly 
urged before it that even the safeguards for minorities, embodied 
in the Constitution, have proved inadequate and ineffective against 
the cultural oppression or linguistic minorities and their economic 
exploitation.” 

“After giving thought to the matter the Commission categorically 
recommended that the Central Government must be responsible 
for linguistic minorities. I quote relevant extracts from the Com- 
mission’s Report. At page 215 the Commission observes: 

“There is no reason, however, why the Governor should 
not function as an Agent of the Central Government in 
regard to a matter which is of NATIONAL CONCERN. 
There is nothing anti-democratic about such an arrange- 
ment, because the Central Government will be responsi- 
ble to the Union Parliament for functions performed by 
the Governor as its agent. It will amount only to super- 
vision by the larger democracy over the smaller demo- 
cracies in respect of matters of NATIONAL CON- 
CERN.” At page 216, the Commission says, definitely, 
“The derision of the Central Government should be issued 
as a directive from the President.” 

“It is thus abundantly clear that the Commission categorically 
recommended that the Centre must be responsible lor the linguistic 
minorities, that the Centre should be responsible to Parliament in 
this matter and that, in the final analysis, directives should be 
issued through the President which directives shall be binding on 
the States.” 



' nxriKDacsocMZ a trixes 


277 


“In the Select Committee there was a strong feeling that the 
Governor would NOT be the appropriate agency through which the 
Central Government should act. In my opinion the Governor, as 
a Constitutional head, should not be embarrassed by bringing him 
into lively conflict with his State Government. It may also be em- 
phasised that by malting him the agency in the State to protect 
minority interests, he would be constantly approached by minori- 
ties with grievances against the State, which would further em- 
barrass his position. Further Governors, who have become ac- 
customed to acting as constitutional heads, would refrain from taking 
appropriate action even in a case of palpable injustice, because they 
would be loath to provoke a conflict with the State Ministry. I 
know that the Instruments of Instruction issued under the 1935 Act, 
for the protection of minorities, to Governors, who were in the habit 
of exercising independent and even arbitrary powers, were usually 
ignored. The reluctance or Governors, even in the days when they 
were disposed to set one community against another, to act, made 
the minorities stigmatise these grandiose but still-born Instruments 
of Instruction as Instruments of Destruction.*’ 

“The most serious objection to a Governor acting as the agent of 
the Centre, under the machinery contemplated by the S.R. Com- 
mission, is that when a Governor refuses to move, the Centre will 
not be seized of the matter and will not therefore be able to issue the 
necessary directives.” 

Statutory Minorities Board 

“There was strong support in the Joint Committee for my proposal 
for a Statutory Minorities Board, appointed by the President. The 
Board might place its report, at such intervals as the President may 
direct, before Parliament and after the report is debated by Parlia- 
ment the necessary directives would issue. The arguments of the 
States Reorganisation Commission that a Statutory Board would 
encourage minorities to look beyond their borders is, I submit with 
respect, a political cliche which is a hangover from the thinking 
in the context of the old religious minorities’ problem. It is an argu- 
ment which has no validity as the Commission itself has accepted 
the principle of a Central Agency. It is impossible to reconcile 
the principle with the argument that a Statutory Minorities Board 
will encourage minorities to look beyond their States. If this is a 



276 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

S.R.C. Recommendations 

“Yet the States Reorganisation Commission considered the pro- 
blem of the linguistic minorities important and serious enough to 
devote a whole chapter to it — chapter I of Part IV of the Report en- 
titled ‘Safeguards for Linguistic Minorities’ (pages 205-216). The 
Commission has, in this chapter, recorded the fact that it received 
numerous complaints that linguistic minorities suffered from cul- 
tural oppression and economic exploitation. The Commission gave 
the examples of arbitrary domiciliary qualifications and language 
tests for recruitment to the services adopted by certain States with 
the intention of striking at certain minorities." 

“The Commission drew attention to the fact that it was strongly 
urged before it that even the safeguards for minorities, embodied 
In the Constitution, have proved inadequate and ineffective against 
the cultural oppression of linguistic minorities and their economic 
exploitation." 

“After giving thought to the matter the Commission categorically 
recommended that the Central Government must be responsible 
for linguistic minorities. 1 quote relevant extracts from the Com- 
mission’s Report. At page 215 the Commission observes: 

“There is no reason, however, why the. Governor should 
not function as an Agent of the Central Government in 
regard to a matter which is of NATIONAL CONCERN. 
There is nothing anti-democratic about such an arrange- 
ment, because the Central Government will be responsi- 
ble to the Union Parliament for functions performed by 
the Governor as its agent. It will amount only to super- 
vision by the larger democracy over the smaller demo- 
cracies in respect of matters of NATIONAL CON- 
CERN.” At page 216, the Commission says, definitely, 
The decision of the Central Government should be issued 
as a directive from the President.” 

It is thus abundantly clear that the Commission categorically 
recommended that the Centre must be responsible for the linguistic 
minorities, that the Centre should be responsible to Parliament in 
this matter and that, in the final analysis, directives should be 
issued through the President which directives shall be binding on 
the States.” 



VOSTMX&EFESDEKtX BATTLES 


277 


“In the Select Committee there was a strong feeling that the 
Governor would NOT be the appropriate agency through which the 
Central Government should act. In my opinion the Governor, as 
a Constitutional head, should not be embarrassed by bringing him 
into likely conflict with his State Government. It may also be em- 
phasised that by making him the agency in the State to protect 
minority interests, he would be constantly approached by minori- 
ties with grievances against the State, which would further em- 
barrass his position. Further Governors, who have become ac- 
customed to acting as constitutional heads, would refrain from taking 
appropriate action even in a case of palpable injustice, because they 
would be loath to provoke a conflict with the State Ministry. I 
know that the Instruments of Instruction issued under the 1935 Act, 
for the protection of minorities, to Governors, who were in the habit 
of exercising independent and even arbitrary powers, were usually 
ignored. The reluctance of Governors, even in the days when they 
were disposed to set one community against another, to act, made 
the minorities stigmatise these grandiose but still-bom Instruments 
of Instruction as Instruments of Destruction." 

“The most serious objection to a Governor acting as the agent of 
the Centre, under the machinery contemplated by the S.R. Com- 
mission, is that when a Governor refuses to move, the Centre will 
not be seized of the matter and will not therefore be able to issue the 
necessary directives." 

Statutory Minorities Board 

“There was strong support in the Joint Committee for my proposal 
for a Statutory Minorities Board, appointed by the President. The 
Board might place its report, at such intervals as the President may 
direct, before Parliament and after the report is debated by Parlia- 
ment the necessary directives would issue. The arguments of the 
States Reorganisation Commission that a Statutory Board would 
encourage minorities to look beyond their borders is, I submit with 
respect, a political cliche which is a hangover from the thinking 
in the context of the old religious minorities* problem. It is an argu- 
ment which has no validity as the Commission itself has accepted 
the principle of a Central Agency- It is impossible to reconcile 
the principle with the argument that a Statutory Minorities Board 
will encourage minorities to look beyond their States. If this is a 



278 THE STORT OF THE ANGEO-CHDXAH COMUTOITT 

valid argument, then the Government should not have remitted 
the question of linguistic minorities to Zonal Councils. The pro- 
vision in respect of Zonal Councils is almost certain to encourage 
linguistic minorities to look bc>ond their borders, in a reactionary 
and anti-national way. Thus a section of persons, who are a 
minority in one State, such as the Bengalis in Bihar may, under the 
Zonal Council scheme, be encouraged to look to the majority in the 
adjoining State. In fact, the majority in one State may encourage 
the minority in the adjoining State to make all manner of exaggerat- 
ed claims and complaints. Thus I can envisage a |>eri od of irre- 
dentism as between certain States in a Zonal Council. A Central 
Agency will be the most salutary check to this kind of process and 
to minorities being encouraged by majorities, across the border, in- 
to making extravagant and impossible demands.” 

“It has also to be remembered that the Commission made its 
recommendations for minority safeguards when it had no concep- 
tion of the violent and even vicious turn linguistic passions would 
assume in certain areas.” 

“I submit, with respect, that the Government cannot run away 
from the disagreeable facts of reorganization.” 

“In my consistent opposition to linguistic reorganisation of the 
States, I had underlined the certainty of the consequences which 
have overtaken the Country. Thus Government cannot disclaim 
responsibility For the tribal passions and linguistic hatreds which 
have been aroused. Not only have so many more linguistic minori- 
ties been gratuitously created, but, for a considerable period of 
time, in certain areas, they will be reduced to a position of politi- 
cal, cultural and economic helotiy. And the Centre alone has the 
capacity, as it has the duty, to attempt to qualify these conditions 
of helotry by assuming direct responsibility for the linguistic minori- 
ties. The Commission has recognised the principle that the 
linguistic minorities are of national concern. If the minorities are 
of national concern, they must be the concern of the Centre. And 
the Centre can only discharge that concern, if it has powers to inter- 
vene where necessary.” 

“There is no question of encouraging the minorities to look to the 
Centre. They have the right to look to the Centre as the ultimate 
custodian of their interests. In my opinion the Centre would only 
ha ve discharged its duty by accepting, in the present context, a pro- 



279 


POrr-INDtPENDESCE BA-rnXS 

vision Tor a Ministry for Ungsjistic min^'C^ ^ 

done. The lesser ^provision of a Statutory M, nont.es 
also been rejected." 

Commissioner For Linguistic Minorities . , „ for 

"I regret to say that even ^Tj'/^fpitsid'ent, tvas rejected by 
linguistic minorities, appointed y constitutional 

Government. 1 had die're'ltuld a Commissioner for 

provision according to which p mi dcnt, who would place 

linguistic minorities, appointed > . the president may 

his report before Parliament at such intern* *s the d 

direct: after .hi, report it debated ,n '’“'“““n hcof *c tSintnee. 

issuesueh directives asi.deemedneceBary^P f „ ^ 

of Government to provide amp g Commission 

minorities, in spite of the recommendation . of Nd*S C 
for the setting up of. Central Agency tor 
minorities, even this diluted proposal of mme 
Commissioner was found unaccepta e. President powers 

■•Finally, a. lea,, a simple prov.t. 0 .. & UnS minorities 
to issue direcUves to the Sta ‘” 1 ?" ^^rnmisskThad specif.cally 
should have been accepted as the S.K- powers to issue 

recommended that the President mus This last proposal 

direcUves on behalf of the lingursUc nunonties. P^ 

of mine was, however, also rejccte . ^ ^ s R Commission, 

powers to issue directives as recommcn y t . The 

then there must be a specific Pronin dca , 

whole scheme of our Constitution . . the p res ident 

There is no provision in our Constitu ion 9 ^ t j, cre \ s in 

,o take care that the laws are ^ power to issue 

the American Constitution. Article 257 of thc 

directives to the State, to ensure underlines the 

■Union' is not impeded, Article 339 P> ’ Mf of , h< , 

principle that the President can cue : directives “ 

Scheduled Caste, and Tribes, since the po™» 

mte Sr.o“r^ives have been specify 

All that the report, a. it has emerged from the Joint Co^ee, 
now envisages is that the good offices of the Go 



280 THE STORY OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

used on behalf of the linguistic minorities. This is completely dif- 
ferent from and, in fact, opposed to the recommendation of theS.R. 
Commission. The Commission had recommended a specific safeguard 
and the taking of specific powers by the Centre to issue directives 
to the States. This can only be done by setting up the machinery 
and giving the powers through a specific provision in the Constitu- 
tion. There is also a suggestion in the report that the question of 
appointing a Minorities Commissioner will be examined. Even if 
a Commissioner is appointed, he will be utterly useless to the 
minorities, as he will have no statutory position and the Centre will 
not be empowered to issue directives to the States on his recom- 
mendations." 

“I submit, with respect, that I cannot resist the conclusion that 
the assurances of the Government to the linguistic minorities, the 
recommendations of the S.R. Commission, the strong feeling in the 
Joint Committee have all been ignored because of some theory of 
State Autonomy. The crux of Government’s opposition to any 
real safeguard appears to consist in the thesis that such a safeguard, 
with powers to the President to issue directives, will be an encroach- 
ment on State Autonomy. I submit, with the greatest of respect, that 
this approach is completely fallacious and indefensible. It is ab- 
solutely correct that the minorities must learn to look to and live 
among the majority in that particular State. But when we re- 
cognise that the minorities have all manner of difficulties, that these - 
difficulties will be accentuated a hundredfold because of the lingui- 
stic passions that have been aroused, we must provide adequate 
machinery at the Centre for their ultimate protection." 

“In the final analysis, the S.R. Commission itself has recognised 
that the minorities are of national concern. They are not exclusive- 
ly the concern of the States. The Centre has an inescapable duty 
to look after the minorities. The minorities have an inalienable 
right to look to the Centre." 

“Parliament, also, has an inescapable duty to look after the 
minorities. And Parliament is the best qualified democratic 
machinery to ensure justice to the minorities. The provincial and 
regional prejudices which often bedevil State Legislatures are 
usually absent from Parliament. Because Parliament is a cross- 
section of the whole country it is in the best position to take an 
objective view of minority problems.’* 



201 


- , rO5t-IN'0 crtNDl:SCK BATTlX5 

• « surely Parliament -* 

trusted to neicue their pottcrt . state uhenthe 

Government trill obviouslyonly ° * wmori , f ." 

Sate b clearly in error and refute, to dojmt.ee to 

ApiaHen “'Lttitu.i™ giving a 1^- 

“The inclut.on of a provision im , ion3i adminis- 

slic minority the right to affiliate uca language of that 

tered by it, to a recognised eaamutauo n, tn .h e ^ 

minority in any part ° r *' 'l ,,.e f„ndamental right, pro- 

tuch a provision i, a natural corollary to tne minorities the right 
sided in Article 30 (1) of thcComt.lutto .Etv . ng rntn on^ ^ ^ 
to establish and adm.ntster ' d u“ u °“ t minority languages 

I have to point out, with teg ; , io „ a „d discrimination, 

are particularly esposed to delibera PI» ^ ^ the |;„ger- 

Thus because of the continuing p en IIamp osed against 

ing resentment against die Eng »h of ^ Anglo .,„dian 

English, Sihieh happen, » »« •*“ "L in mme Stales to 
Community. Thus there hase r^mmunity, because they 

destroy the schools of the Ang ^ n Jn Qlhcr States in- 

arc the main purveyor* of the E g are cufTent » 

sidious policies to undermine or sd^ ^ ^ who are honest will 
“In the same way we know, an Pakistan’s policies has, 

• admit, that the justifiable resentment ga Urdu, which 

in certain States, transposed itself i against ^ 
should be nurtured as part of th ' " ^ ob j cct of language 

of the Country, has in some States been an j 
vendetta.” . , ration even at 

“Although Suites tuny not be ab ' ' P 1 ™, amtd thb further pro- 

thc primary stage to linguistic mm ■ d manorial institu- 

vision, at least to prevent States hum „ 

tions ivhich a linguistic minority may ^ Utat 

“I am grateful for the small merey that 
thir pro v£n, which rhejoiu. Conirn.Ueeeon.ider^derrra , 

after examination by .he Central ^ Home 

the Home Ministry circular to be _®ued „ r , he 
Ministry circular is salutary in rndica g intentions will 

Central Government. But this 

suffer from the viral defect present m all the Genua 



282 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

proposals. They will only constitute advice. As guarantees and 
safeguards they are utterly valueless. They will not have a single 
sanction either statutory or executive. The Central Government 
will be powerless to prevent a State from deliberately flouting its 
advice and from deliberately oppressing a linguistic minority.” 

"1 submit, with respect, that in rejecting the several proposals 
made by me, in rejecting the specific recommendation of the S.R. 
Commission that the Centre must take powers to issue directives to 
the States on behalf of the linguistic minorities, the Government has 
not only not been generous, it has not been just." 

Frank Anthony, 

Member, Lok Sabha, Div. No. 498 

Dated 15-7-1956 

My minute of dissent attracted considerable support from leading 
newspapers in the Country. It also captured the sympathy of the 
leaders of all sections of the Lok Sabha. When the Bill came before 
the Lok Sabha, I spoke at every stage and made four speeches. 
They contained impassioned pleas for a Constitutional safeguard 
for the linguistic minorities, for at least the appointment of a Com- 
missioner who would report to Parliament on the position of the 
linguistic minorities. 

I led a deputation of senior M. Ps. to the Prime Minister. In 
fact, I met Jawaharlal Nehru on three occasions. Inch by inch, I 
was able to advance the cause of the linguistic minorities. In the 
first stages, the Home Minister, Govind Ballabli Pant, agreed to 
consider my suggestion for a Commissioner but without any Consti- 
tutional provision. Later, in the Lok Sabha, Government agreed 
to have a provision in che Constitution. Even here, the Home 
Minister was not prepared to give directive powers to the Central 
Government. 

I pleaded for this final guarantee. The matter was placed be- 
fore the Cabinet. I moved a resolution in the House. The Home 
Minister was prepared to accept two-thirds of it, but not the last 
part giving powers to the Centre to issue directives to the States. 

It was as the result of my long, grim fight that Article 350 B was 
put into the Constitution. That Article provides for the appointment 
by the President of a special officer for the linguistic minorities who 
will report to the President and which reports are to be laid before 



POST-ISDETCNDESCE BATTLES 283 

each House of Parliament and sent to the Government and the States 
concerned. 

Then in the third reading stage, during an interchange between 
Govind Ballabh Pant and myself, he accepted the position that there 
t«u no need for a final clause in the Constitutional guarantee as, in 
the opinion of the Government, the Centre had inherent powers, 
under Article 355 of the Constitution, to issue directives to the 
States. I accepted this assurance and wound up by paying a gener- 
ous tribute on behalf of the minorities to Jawaharla! Nehru and 
Govind Ballabh Pant. 

Commenting on the long debate and the ultimate concessions by 
Govind Ballabh Pant, the Hindustan Times representative wrote in 
the issue of September 5, 1956 : “As was expected, it was Mr. Frank 
Anthony’s day. He said all linguistic minorities would be grateful 
to the Home Minister for what he proposed to do.” 

Arising out of my demands during my several speeches in the 
course of the debate, Covind Ballabh Pant laid on the table of the 
house a memorandum that recognised as a corollary to the right 
contained in Article 30 of the Constitution, which gives the minori- 
ties based on language and religion the right to establish and ad- 
minister educational institutions of their choice, that all schools and 
the colleges using minority languages, where it is not possible to 
arrange affiliation in respect of courses of study to universities and 
other authorities within a State, should be permitted by the State 
Government to affiliate to outside bodies, Grants-in-aid and other 
facilities would be given irrespective or such outside affiliation. 

Bombay Schools' Case 

On the 16th December, 1953, the Bombay Government issued an 
order prohibiting the admission of non-Anglo-Indians to Anglo- 
Indian schools. I only received the full text of the order on the 19th 
December. On the 21st December I sought to raise an adjourn- 
ment motion in Parliament on the ground that the Bombay Govern- 
ment’s order offended the constitutional guarantees given to the 
linguistic minorities. The motion was ruled out of order by the 
Speaker on the ground that Education was a State subject. My 
resentment against the order was accentuated by the fact that at the 
meeting- of the Central Advisory Board of Education in Delhi held 
on the 10th November, 1953, I had in a speech underlining the 



284 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMAIUNITY 

vatue of Anglo-Indian education to the Country, made a general 
reference to my fear of the intolerance of certain State Education 
authorities. At that time I had no definite information of the inten- 
tion of the Bombay Government. It was a coincidence that in my 
speech I referred to rumours that the Bombay Government was con- 
templating an order of the kind which it ultimately issued. 
Maulana Arad, the Minister for Education in the Central Govern- 
ment, who was in the chair, intervened when I was speaking and 
put a specific question to the Bombay Government Education 
Minister. He asked whether there was any basis lor my fear and 
whether the Bombay Government was, in fact, contemplating such 
an order. The Bombay Education Minister categorically denied 
that such an order was under the contemplation of his Government. 
Yet barely a month after, namely, on the 16th December the order 
was issued. I realised that this form of ‘Prohibition’ on the part of 
the Bombay Government meant the certain destruction of Anglo- 
Indian Education in the State. An analysis of the figures showed 
that about 60% of the pupils in the Bombay Anglo-Indian schools 
were non-Anglo-Indians. The proposed embargo would mean the 
shutting out of about two-thirds of the pupils and the inevitable 
closure of Anglo-Indian schools. 

I addressed the Prime Minister pointing out the flagrantly illegal 
character of the Bombay Government’s order and seeking his inter- 
vention. Unfortunately, Jawaharlal Nehru apparently did not 
have the time to apply his mind to the Bombay Government’s palp- 
able violation of the Constitution. He replied vaguely stating that 
the order must have something to do with the State Government’s 
policy, I then saw Maulana Azad. He promised to write to the 
Chief Minister of Bombay. But knowing the intransigence of the 
Bombay Government, especially of Morarjl Dcsai the then Chief 
Minister, I felt that there was no hope of getting it to retrace its 
illegal steps. 

This was a period of grave anxiety for me. Some office-bearers 
of the Association were against making an issue of the Bombay 
Government's Order. Some of our office-bearers in Bombay wired 
seeking to dissuade me from fighting the Government. They felt 
that the State Government might retaliate by victimising the 
Community in one form or another. I gave the whole position care- 
ful, anxious thought. I realized that this was literally a question 



K>ST-rXWTEXDEUCF. BATTLES 


285 


of life or death for our schools. I realised, also, that if we did not 
fight, in any ease it would mean extinction for Anglo-Indian educa- 
tion and consequently for the Community. I realised also that if 
we fought and lost, the same consequences would follow, but if we 
fought and won then we would have achieved a charter of freedom 
for our schools. I knew also tliat some oilier Slates, many of which 
were not unduly friendly to Anglo-Indian education, were watch- 
ing the Bombay scene. Ultimately, I decided to fight. I pro- 
ceeded to Bombay and spent a whole month in preparing the case. 
Several English-medium schools, which faced the same fate, were 
run by members of the Parsee Community. I sought to enlist their 
support. But the)' made no secret of the fact that they were too 
afraid to fight as they felt that the Bombay Government might 
oppress their community. The majority of the Anglo-Indian 
Schools in the State were run by the Roman Catholic Orders. Some 
of the Orders, especially the Irish Christian Brothers, were prepared 
to fight. But the ultimate sanction had to be given by the Cardinat. 
I, therefore, met Cardinal Gracias. I was accompanied by Anglo- 
Indian State leaders who were Roman Catholics. Unfortunately, 
the Cardinal expressed his inability to join the fight. I then turned 
to non-Roman Catholic run schools. Fortunately, I was able to 
get Barnes School, Deolali, which was run by the Bombay Education 
Society, to be the main petitioner. Ultimately, the Anglo-Indians 
fought and fought alone. 

On the 1 1th, 12th and 13ih February, 1954, our petition came up 
for final hearing before Chief Justice M.C. Chagla and Mr. Justice 
Dixit. Mr. N. Palkhivala, an outstanding advocate of the Bombay 
High Court, and I addresssed the Court on behalf of the Anglo- 
Indian Schools. The Advocate-General of Bombay appeared on 
behalf of the State. On the 15th February the Bombay bench 
delivered its judgment striking down the Bombay Government’s 
order as being repugnant to the Constitution. 

On the 26th April the Bombay Government made an applica- 
tion to the Supreme Court for expediting their appeal which was 
set down by the judges for hearing before the vacation at the end 
of May. The hearing in the Supreme Court commenced on the 
12th May and was heard by a special constitutional bench consist- 
ing of Chief Justice Mahajan and four other judges. The Attorney- 
General of India appeared on behalf of the Bombay Government. 



286 the stout of the anclo-htdias community 

Palkhivala and I argued on behalf of the Anglo-Indian schools. On 
the 26th May, 1954, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment 
which was a landmark in the Constitutional history of India. The 
principal ratio laid down by the Supreme Court was in the following 
words : “Where, however, a minority like the Anglo-Indian Com- 
munity, which is based, inter alia, on religion and language, has the 
fundamental right to conserve its language, script and culture, under 
Article 29(1) and has the right to establish and administer educa- 
tional institutions of their choice under Article 30 (1), surely then 
there must be implicit in such fundamental right, the right to im- 
part instruction in their own institutions to the children of their own 
community in their own language. To hold otherwise will be to 
deprive Article 29(1) and Article 30(1) of the greater part of their 
content. Such being the fundamental right, the police power of 
the State to determine the medium of instruction must yield to this 
fundamental right to the extent it is necessary to give effect to it and 
cannot be permitted to run counter to it. 1 ’ The Supreme Court 
judgment vindicated the right of the Anglo-Indian schools not only 
to teach through the mother-tongue of the Community, English, 
but to offer instruction through English to any Indian child who 
wished to avail himself of it. That judgment remains a charter of 
educational freedom not only for the Anglo-Indian schools but for 
institutions run by all linguistic minorities in the Country. 

The Kerala Education Bill 

In 1958 the President of India referred, under Article 143(1) of 
the Constitution, to the Supreme Court for their opinion certain 
provisions of the Kerala Education Bill, 1957, which had been frame- 
ed by the then Communist Government of the State. Mr. D.N. 
Pritt, a well-known British Q..C., appeared on behalf of the Kerala 
State Government. The Roman Catholic Schools, of which there 
is a very large number in the Kerala State, employed leading Indian 
counsel. I appeared on behalf of the Anglo-Indian schools of 
Kerala as interveners. The case was argued at length and stren- 
uously. Ultimately, the Anglo-Indian schools were the only institu- 
tions completely to win their case. In effect, the Supreme Court 
held that the various clauses of the Bill were of a restrictive character 
and offended the rights of the Anglo-Indian Community as 
guaranteed under the Constitution. In several provisions the Bill 



rOST-INDEPENDENCE HATTIES 


287 


sought to regiment not only the management but the education 
in the schools. 

A crucial issue which was rot argued by any of the other institu- 
tions but which I canvassed elaborately on behalf of the Anglo- 
Indian schools was in respect of Clause 20 of the Bill. According to 
that clause, merely as a pre-condition to recognition, the State 
Government insisted that no fees should be charged in the primary 
school. According to the definition in the Bill, the primary school 
■extended to class eight. No Anglo-Indian school could exist if it 
■was compelled not to charge any fee in eight out of the ten or eleven 
classes. Fortunately, the majority of the Supreme Court judges 
accepted my submissions that it would be a travesty of our funda- 
mental right to establish and administer educational institutions of 
our choice if we were to be denied the right to charge the necessary 
fees. 

The Gujarat University Case 

On the 21st September, 1962, a Constitution Bench of the 
Supreme Court consisting or six judges, including the Chief Justice, 
by a majority judgment upheld the judgment of the Gujarat High 
Court striking down the action of the Gujarat University seeking 
to outlaw English. The crucial ratio in the judgment was that 
legislation imposing an exclusive medium was likely to result in the 
lowering or standards of higher education which fell within item 66 
of the Union List and outside the power of the State Legislature or 
the University. Item 66 relates to the ‘Coordination and deter- 
mination of standards in the institutions for higher education or 
research and scientific and technical institutions’. 

Mr. Nani Palkhivala argued on behalf of the main petitioner and I 
on behalf of the All-India Anglo-Indian Education Society which had 
intervened in the Supreme Court. There were also other interveners. 

What was involved was not merely the question of the medium of 
instruction in the Gujarat University but, in effect, the whole posi- 
tion of the link language in the language pa ttern of higher education 
throughout the Country. The Gujarat University had outlawed 
English. Had the Gujarat University and the State Government 
succeeded in their appeal in the Supreme Court, there can be no 
doubt that their example would have been followed by a succession 
of States and Universities. The consequences would have been 



288 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

disastrous not only for the standards of University education but 
for the larger cause of educational and emotional integration in the 
Country. 

For the Anglo-Indian and English-medium schools the consequ- 
ences would have been fatal. Without opportunities for Univer- 
sity and higher education through the medium of English, inevi- 
tably no one would go to English-medium schools. ' 

Apart from the legal issues involved, a general submission made 
by me to the Supreme Court was that in the context of a bewilder- 
ing multiplicity of regional languages and the hopelessly disparate 
stages of their development, the link language, English, is a necessary 
instrument of co-ordination. In this welter of competing regional 
languages, utterly disparate in their content and development, to 
give the right to Universities to outlaw English would be to destroy 
the only life-line of unity in the field of higher education. Other 
vital aspects of co-ordination such as the interchange of teachers, 
the migration of students, would be utterly impossible if the different 
Universities constituted themselves into watertight linguistic en- 
claves. I submitted that in this context a developed link language 
is indispensable for the maintenance and co-ordination of stand- 
ards at the University stage. 

Commenting on the judgment, I wrote, “All those interested not 
only in the maintenance of standards of higher education but in the 
unity of the Country must acclaim this judgment as perhaps the 
greatest single blow struck for preventing a decline into disintegra- 
tion. I believe, sincerely, that to carve up University education 
into watertight linguistic enclaves is deliberately to pursue the in- 
evitable disintegration of the Country. This judgment will receive 
the hearty approval and acclaim of thinking educationists and those 
capable of taking an objective view of the larger interests of the 
Country. There can be no doubt that the regional language will 
be used, increasingly, even at the University stage, but there can 
also be no doubt that a regional language, however highly developed, 
cannot, except from motives of language chauvinism and sheer ob- 
scurantism, be used as an instrument for outlawing the existing 
facilities in a world language. I feel that so far as science and tech- 
nology (including engineering) and professional courses such as law 
and medicine are concerned, a firm decision should be taken that 
there should be instruction in a single language. Thus, in the case 



yOST'INDEPENDENCR BATTLES 289 

or my own profession, the law, apart from the sheer babel that would 
ensue as a result of instruction in a multiplicity of regional langu* 
ages, overnight the standards of professional knowledge and ability 
would be struck an irretrievably fatal blow. Today, there are about 
52 law reports' in English svhich publish, each year, at least 2, 1 >00 
cases decided by the Supreme Court and the different High Courts. 
Many of the High Court judgments are monuments of legal know- 
ledge and examples of finished legal phraseology that has acquired 
scientific precision through usage and interpretation. Through 
these law reports the earnest lawyer and jurist has at least the judg- 
ments throughout India for his field of study. In fact, through 
the American and English reports the vast field of jurisprudence 
throughout the English-speaking world is within his reach. These 
arguments would apply perhaps with even greater force to the pur- 
suit of higher education in science and technology. Only little men, 
blinded by ignorance or language chauvinism, will deliberately des- 
troy the opportunities and horizons of those who wish to pursue 
higher education in its fullest and best sense." 

"This historic judgment may well represent an epochal turning 
point in India’s progress towards unity and strength. For ulti- 
mately, a pattern of higher education that encourages communion 
between the best and most active minds throughout the Country is 
the supreme, decisive instrument of national integration." 

The Menace Of Hindi Imperialism 

The official language issue is the most important — perhaps the 
most critical — for the Country as it will determine not only the pro- 
gress, educational, technological and scientific, but the very unity 
or India. 

I have had not a little to do with this language issue. Circum- 
stances have sometimes placed me at the very centre of the dis- 
cussions. I make no pretensions to complete objectivity on the 
language issue. It is not humanly possible for anyone to be com- 
pletely objective on such an issue, as each one of us is the product of 
a certain matrix, historical, cultural, linguistic. Each cneof us has 
his mother-tongue and rightly cherishes it. 

Unlike the Hindi chauvinists, I have, in my humble way, given 
many hostages to my bona fides on this language issue. Hindi 



290 THE STOTT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

happened to be the second language that I learnt at school. It 
was the language through which I had largely earned my income 
at the Bar in the early days of my profession. As Chairman of the 
Inter-State Board for Anglo-Indian Education, for more than 20 
years, I was responsible for making Hindi a compulsory second 
language in most of the Anglo-Indian schools throughout the 
Country. 

Desire Of Gandkiji 

During the framing of the Constitution I was on several com- 
mittees. At that time language was not a live issue. The Consti- 
tuent Assembly was riding a crest of national fervour and 
enthusiasm. It was preoccupied with forging a Constitution that 
would make India strong, united and prosperous, Even then I had 
misgivings about the language question. I discussed the matter 
with Jawaharlal Nehru and underlined the desire of Gandhiji that 
a neutral language, such as Hindustani, should be the official 
language. With his unerring instinct, Gandhiji realised that in a 
multilingual State only a neutral language which gave no undue 
advantage to any particular group and which was not identified 
with any particular community or religion, so as to make it an 
instrument of political domination, could be the official language. 
Unfortunately, Jawaharlal was too preoccupied and felt that there 
was no distinction between Hindustani and Hindi. I also met 
Maulana Azad but he was not disposed to oppose Jawaharlal. I 
expressed my fear that the use of the word ‘Hindi’ would immediate- 
ly be seized upon by communal elements in the North to make it 
a symbol of communalism, even of religion and a negation of secular 
democracy. During the framing or the Constitution, however, I 
hoped for the best. I not only strongly supported Hindi being 
made the official language but made strong speeches in favour of it. 
I, however, underlined the fact that the official language could 
develop only by an evolutionary process. 

I pointed out that Hindi would grow and be accepted in exact 
proportion to its tolerance and spirit of accommodation and its 
readiness to allow the other languages and the languages of the 
minorities also to grow and flourish. 

Unfortunately, and tragically for the Country, my fears about 
Hindi were justified sooner than I expected. Obscurantism, intoler- 



POST-INDEPENDENCE BATTLES 


29 1 


ancc and arrogance became increasingly the attributes of the Hindi 
chauvinists. The greatest single motivation of the Hindi Imperial- 
ists has been ill-concealed hatred for English. They have worked 
to the superstition that if they destroy English-medium schools, 
Which are the nerve-centres of English teaching, they will destroy 
English. They have deluded themselves into the belief that if they 
destroy English, Hindi, by some magical process, will take its 
place. 

Attack On English-Medium Schools 

I have referred above to the fact that in 1953 the Hindi-motivated 
hatred for English expressed itself in an order of the Bombay Govern- 
ment intended to destroy the English-medium schools. According 
to that order English could not be the medium of instruction 
for any Indians except Anglo-Indians. Indians could be taught 
through the medium of any language except English. Every form 
of political hypocrisy svas pressed into service by the Bombay 
Government in an effort to justify that iniquitous order. Even 
Jatvaharlal Nehru expressed his helplessness to intervene to stay 
such an evil order. Fortunately, f»m the Bombay High Court 
and then the Supreme Court struck down that order as 
illegal. 

The Language Commission 

The next phase was the appointment, by the President, of the 
Language Commission under Article 344 of the Constitution in June, 
1955. May I say, with great respect, that the overwhelming 
majority of those appointed svere well-known for their Hindi pre- 
dilections. The recommendations of the Language Commission 
were a foregone conclusion. Two members had the courage to 
append minutes of dissent. Dr. Subbaroyan, a well-known figure 
in the Madras State, and Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, the famous 
Indologist from Bengal who has some outstanding works on Hindi 
to his credit, entered a powerful pica that there should be no haste 
with regard to Hindi imposition and that the ‘status quo' should 
continue. Their plea was brushed aside with impatience and 
arrogance by the Hindi chauvinists In their headlong pursuit of 
Hindi imposition. 



292 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


Parliamentary Committee 

The next stage was reached with the appointment of the Parlia- 
mentary Language Committee, in 1938, under Article 344(4) ofthe 
Constitution. Twenty members were elected by the House of the 
People and ten by the Council of States. Once again, an attempt 
was made to pack the committee by a stringent whip issued by the 
Congress Party. Fortunately a few Independents, including my- 
self, were able to secure election in spite of that stringent whip. The 
Committee began its deliberations in May, 1958. The Home 
Minister, Govind Batlabh Pant, was the Chairman. 

I can speak from inside knowledge. At the very outset I asked 
for the proceedings not to be held ‘in camera’. I emphasized that 
this was a critical issue for the Country and the Country had the 
right to know the views of the members and the discussions of the 
committee : it had the right not to have some decisions, taken by a 
handful of persons behind closed doors, suddenty imposed on the 
whole Country. I also asked that the Pi css should be admitted. 
My proposals were summarily brushed aside. All that the Press 
got were carefully doctored hand-outs. I had also asked that the 
Chief Ministers of Madras and West Bengal should be examined as 
the position in those two States had changed entirely since the report 
of the Language Commission. The Madras Goveimment had 
modified its position taken up before the Language Commission and 
had recommended permanent bilingualism. The Writ Bengal 
Legislature had gone further. Both Houses had unanimously 
passed a resolution that the ‘status quo' should continue. The 
West Bengal Legislature had made it dear that they were nut P r<N 
pared to accept Hindi as the sole official language. That prPP 053 * 
of mine was also brushed aside. The atmosphere in the conyttuttee 
was not only utterly vitiated but utterly foul. It was made Jo not 
only by the intemperate but utterly offensive character of the lzangu- 
age used by the Hindi protagonists. Sir A. Ramastvami MudLdiar 
said that he had never, in his long public life, sat in a committee Avitb 
such a foul atmosphere. A member from Tamil Nad expressed! his 
desire to withdraw. The committee finalised its report in t- 

ber, 1958. I had gone to the Committee with an open mind as K 
had done during the discussions in the framing of the Constitution.! 
But the sheer intolerance, arrogance and hate-filled attitude of the I 
Hindi Imperialists made me realise that unless some of us resisted | 



I’O'nr-IKDCPO.'fcENCE BATTLES 


293 


this tide, the spirit of neo-imperialism would lead to the attempted 
destruction of every minority language, the relegation of every 
language which is considered to stand in the way of Hindi imposition 
to second-class status. I appended the only minute of dissent against 
the blanket imposition of Hindi, from 1965, as the official language. 

Pita Rejected 

My private member’s resolution that English be included in the 
VHIth Schedule of the Constitution came up for discussion in 
Parliament in April, 1959. I made, as far as it was humanly possible, 
a completely objective plea for the inclusion or English in the VHIth 
Schedule : I pointed out that English is my language : that it is the 
language of a recognised minority, the Anglo-Indians. I referred to 
the decisions of the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court 
which affirmed the position that English is as much an Indian langu- 
age as the other languages of India. In fact, as pointed out by the 
Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court in his judgment English is 
the language of the Anglo-Indians and as much entitled to 
protection as any other language spoken by any other section or 
community in the Country. It was further pointed out by that 
Court, that from the constitutional point of view English was more 
an Indian language than any of the languages in the VHIth 
Schedule : it was the language of the Constitution, it was the sole 
official language till 1965, it was the administrative language of the 
Country, it was the official language of the States until replaced by 
some other language, it was the language of the courts, of the High 
Courts and the Supreme Court. All laws, orders and notifications 
had to be in English : it was the only authoritative language of 
legislation. 

Significance Of VHIth Schedule 

I further pointed out that on the 21st February, 1959, the Prime 
Minister had announced that the Sahitya (Literary) Academy had 
recognised English and Sindhi in addition to the 14 languages 
enumerated in the VHIth Schedule as among the major Indian 
languages. The Senate of the Calcutta University had, on the I8th 
July, 1958, resolved that English be included in the VHIth Schedule. 

I underlined the significance of the VIII th Schedule. The VHIth 
Schedule did not purport to exhaust all the Indian languages, be- 



294 THE STORT or THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMCXtTT 

cause there are, at a conservative estimate, 179 Indian languages 
in addition to 544 dialects and patois. The VUIth Schedule only 
means that in terms of Article 351 of the Constitution, Hindi, so that 
it may serve as a medium of expression for all the dements of the 
composite culture of India, should secure its enrichment by assimilat- 
ing the style and expressions of Hindustani and of the languages of 
India specified in the VUIth Schedule. I underlined that both the 
Language Commission and the Parliamentary Language Committee 
had emphasized the need for Hindi drawing liberally on English es- 
pecially in respect of scientific and technological terms. By inclusion 
in the VUIth Schedule a language did not become either a regional 
or a national language. 

Human Pita 

Apart from the legal and factual position, I entered a final human 
plea on behalf of my Community. I pointed out that when any- 
body says that my language is foreign, a stab of pain shoots through 
me. I repelled the thesis that English is a foreign language. Fore- 
ignness is only a question of degree. In a relative sense Urdu is a 
foreign language, as it was a language forged by conquerors who had 
come to India. Yet its richness, its beauty and its refinement have 
been among the great leavening influences on Indian language, 
thought and culture. In a sense also Sanskrit is a foreign language , 
because it was brought to the Country, although thousands of years 
ago, by Aryan conquerors. In a relative sense English was also 
foreign to the British. The lineal ancestors or the English language 
were the dialects of the Angles, Saxons and the Jutes who went as 
conquerors to Britain and took their foreign dialects with them. 
The original dialects of the British were Celtic. The plea of ‘foreign’ 
is merely a device of the Hindi Imperialists. Our parliamentary 
system is foreign : our jurisprudence is foreign, our tanks and jet planes 
are foreign, but nobody condemns these for that reason. English 
has become part of the warp and woof of Indian thought, language 
and culture. It has not been imposed on India. It was at the inst- 
ance ofliberals like Rammohan Roy that it became part of the edu- 
cational system. Because of and through English there was a tre- 
mendous cultural and intellectual renaissance in India- Through 
English India jumped from mediaevalism into the modern age. 
Some of India's greatest thinkers and writers have interpreted 



HKT-INOEPENDENCE BATTLES 295 

not only themselves bm the ethos of India to the world through 
English, 

Mortar Of Unity 

Continuing my plea in Parliament, I said that no one is to blame 
for the place that English occupies. That is a legacy of history. 
Many leading thinkers have referred to it as a gift of history to India. 
The stark fact is that English represents the mortar of administrative 
unity. It is the mortar of judicial integration. In fact it represents 
the only instrument or emotional and intellectual integration at 
least among the educated sections. Without English, today, the 
people from Tamil Mad and Bengal would be greater foreigners in 
Delhi than in Europe. AH my pleas fell on ears madedeaf by hatr- 
ed. In the words of the correspondent of *The MaiT, “All my pleas 
including my plea based on humanity were rejected by the Hindi 
fanatics in Parliament with jeers.” 

The j Yehru Formula 

The debate was postponed to August. The then Prime Minister, 
Jawaharlal Nehru, sensing a resurgence of resistance to Hindi 
imposition, intervened and announced on the 7th August, 1959, 
what is now commonly known as the Nehru formula, namely, that 
English would continue as the altemate/associate language for as 
long as the non-Hindi speaking people so desired. 

Unfortunately even the Prime Minister was not a free agent. He 
was a prisoner of the compulsions of the political dominance in 
Parliament of the Hindi chauvinists. There was no answer to the 
case for the inclusion of English in the VIHth Schedule. The 
Prime Minister admitted that on principle there was nothing against 
the inclusion of English in the VIHth Schedule. But because even 
Jawaharlal Nehru was not a free agent politically he dared not do 
elementary justice to a small minority which was politically helpless 
because of its smallness of numbers. If we were a larger community 
or if we were given to demanding our rights through agitation, riot- 
ing and arson, no one from the Prime Minister doivn wards would 
have dared to insult nty Community by referring to our language 
as ‘foreign’. 



296 THE STORY OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Hindi Imperialists’ Phalanx 

On the 2nd, 3rd and 4th September, 1959, the Lok Sabha con- 
sidered the report of the Parliamentary Language Committee. The 
public were not aware of the peculiar provisions of the Constitution 
with regard to the Language Commission and Committee. Al- 
though the Parliamentary Language Committee was elected by 
Parliament, it was not a Parliamentary Committee in the legal sense. 
The report could not go back to Parliament : Parliament could not 
modify the report of its own committee. The report had to go, in- 
stead, directly to the President to issue his directions. Under pres- 
sure, especially from me, the Home Minister Govind Ballabh Pant 
agreed to place the report before Parliament. It will be recalled 
that mine was the only minute of dissent to the report which other- 
wise sought to efTace English from the official language pattern by 
1965. The Home Minister moved a motion that ‘This House takes 
note of the report of the Parliamentary Language Committee’. I 
had given notice of 3 amendments seeking merely to concretise 
the Prime Minister’s formula that English shall be the associate/ 
alternate official language I had reason, increasingly, to doubt the 
bona fidcs of the Hindi Imperialists both in the Congress Party and 
outside. I knew that they hated the Nehru formula and that they 
had no intention of honouring that formula. Their mala fides be- 
came immediately clear as soon as I got up to move my amendments. 
The whole Hindi phalanx in the House, obviously by preconcerted 
design, rose to raise objections to my amendments. Unfortunately, 
my amendments were disallowed as being out of order. The rules 
or Parliament give every member an inalienable right to move an 
amendment to a substantive motion. Even the Chair felt some 
difficulty which was underlined by the request to the Government 
to change its motion which was, in fact, a substantive motion. No 
change was made to the motion : nevertheless my amendments were 
not permitted to be moved. 

Sheer Hatred 

The sheer fanatical hatred of the Hindi Imperialists had to be seen 
to be believed. Mr. Barucha, an Independent Parsee member, and 
Mr. Thangammani, a member from the South, said that they were 
outraged. The demonstration by the Hindi fanatics in the Congress 
Party showed that they had no intention to honour the word of their 



rOST'IKOEPENDESCE BVtTLES 297 

Party leader, the word of the leader of the Government. 

Seeing the resurgence of the resistance created by Hindi fanaticism 
the Prime Minister intervened once again. On the 4ih September, 
1959, Jawaharlal Nehru reaffirmed the formula that English would 
be the associate/altemate language as long as the non-Hindi speak- 
ing people so desired. Ife went a little further : paragraph 34 of the 
Parliamentary Language Committee report had recommended that 
there should be compulsory Hindi tests for entry into the Central 
Services, including the subordinate services. The Prime Minister 
said that there should be no compulsory tests for entry into Central 
Government service. 

Official languages Bill — Chauvinists Got What They Wanted 

The next phase was represented by the Official Languages Bill 
which came up for discussion in the Lok Sabha in April, 1963. At 
the outset I asked that the Bill he circulated in order to give the State 
Legislatures a chance to consider its far-reaching implications. I 
pointed out that in framing the Bill the Government had functioned 
in an atmosphere of unreality and under continuous pressure from 
the Hindi chauvinists as Delhi is a stronghold of Hindi chauvinism. 

•jVb Opportunity Given To States To Study Bill 

Even the State Governments had no opportunity to study the Bill. 
Thus the West Bengal Chief Minister had, in a statement, mentioned 
that he had no idea of the implications of the Bill. Even when he 
replied to the debate, the Home Minister, Lai Bahadur Shastri, stated 
that he had merely referred Clauses 5 and 6, which dealt only 
with Hindi translations, to the State Governments. Clauses 3 and 4 
which were the heart of the Bill, and were carefully evolved instru- 
ments for side-tracking both Parliament and the State Legislatures, 
had not even been considered by the State Governments, much less 
the State Legislatures. But in their desire to rush the measure 
through, my plea for circulation was brushed aside. 

From the time of the Nehru formula the Government had been 
under unremitting pressure from the Hindi chauvinists, whose 
whole desire was not only to dilute but to destroy that formula. 

I had been approached by a senior Congressman to accept a com- 
promise on the Nehru formula. The Hindi protagonists did not 
want the wordj "alternate” or “associate” : they wanted some word 



298 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

like “secondary” “or additional”. They did not like the indefinite 
period : above all, they did not want the matter left to the non-Hindi- 
speaking people. The Bill was placed before the House after several 
postponements. It was immediately clear that everything the Hindi 
zealots wanted had found a place in the Bill. 1 

Backdoor Method 

In my speeches during the passage of the Bill, I underlined that if 
there had been any intention to honour the Prime Minister’s assur- 
ance the Bill could have been a simple two-line measure, namely, 
that English shall be the associate/alternate language until 
Otherwise decided by a majority of State Legislature or a certain 
proportion of members of Parliament. Instead, Clauses 3 and 4 
had been carefully, even tortuously, evolved to ensure the blanket 
imposition of Hindi by the backdoor. Clause 3 provided that 
English may, from the appointed date, that is, 15 years from the 
commencement of the Constitution, be used in addition to Hindi. 
A plain reading of the provision meant that Hindi had first to be 
used for all the official purposes of the Union and after 1965 
English may, or may not, be used. That was even against the 
recommendations of the Language Commission and the Language 
Committee both of which had recognised that Hindi would not 
be sufficiently developed even after 1965 for use for all the purposes 
of the Union. 

There was a good deal of argument about the use of the word 
'may’. The Prime Minister obviously had not applied his mind to 
the matter and was misled by his advisers. I wrote to Jawaharlal 
Nehru mentioning that the use of the word ‘may’ in clause 3 reduced 
the Bill to a travesty of his assurance. He replied to me by letter 
dated the 1 8th April that in his view ‘may’ meant ‘shall’ . Lai Bahadur 
Shastri piloted the Bill. Although I had the deepest regard and, in- 
deed, affection for him, I was obliged to fight him bitterly on this 
issue. Pressed by me for a clarification in the House he admitted that 
‘may’ meant may and was permissive. According to the plain 
meaning of the language, English may, but it also may not, be used. 

Side-tracking Of Parliament 

Clause 4 was a calculated provision for side-tracking both the non- 
Hindi-spcaking Legislatures and Parliament. That clause pro- 



290 


rosT-iN-DErrs-rasax * KTnzs 

vided for die appointment of a co ™““" ' Hot. carefully 

under the guise of rcv.etvtng the FOg and Parliament 

die procedure to » d -™* reading .use. "hen 

am tvorVed out am eapoaed at me sec, ^ , pu , „ him 

the Minister of State, llajamaats, ^ . p„l,amentarv 

the question whether the und „ prreu re he replied 

Committee. At fust he hesi a . wOU ia be a Farlia- 

that without reservation! he cou d *»1 , mtdy , the Deputy 

menlary Committee, rortunaley Kama di, pointed out that 

Leader of the Praja Sxah "F. ^!' r , me Parliament and the ultt- 

if that seas so, the report would fmst^^ ^ ^ rf P „ha- 

mate recommendations to — -.liscd w hat "as happening 

mem. The Home Minister Shmm|.,F ^ allhough elected 

and alter hurried consuhatio kgo J„ R J e nu^ Committee. J 

by Parliament, it v ; ou ] dn ° r| ^ M om of the bag and that 


intervened to iemnric - » •**- 

Clause 4 a.-as a piece of dehluua ‘ JS „r the rrameta of the Bill. 
Parliament which wets alwayt the t Committee, the 

As in the ease of die last Parlia mentary l^g^ .,, ^ , rot rgone 
next one "ill be packed : d these will go directly to 

conclusion taken behind dosed d^n an^.h^^ 
the President for imposition on the 

Merely A Blind vva3 an amend- 

As a sop to the non-Kindi-speakmg Peop^^ ^ asked for. 

ment that the views of ** SUt * ^ ate Government, especially one 
But this was merely a blmd. . A ^ ^ Central Government, 

which belongs to the same ruling party 

might not even be consulted. , nls . One was that Eng- 

I had given notice <* until othenvise de- 

lish should be the alternate/ ^ gute Legislatures. That 

cided by a majority of three-fou of mother amendment to 

was brushed aside. I l “ d ^'”" h llcm atc/associate language un- 

the effect that English should be she of House oT 

ul otherwise decided by a suajorUO ^“"Tori.y requited to amend 
Parliament. That was similar “ 1 ^ ^ ^btnUon. 

the Constitution as provided tn th= Dcp „ty Leader of 

That was also brushed aside. “““ ’ to „ t 0,at the report 
the Praja Socialist Party, moved an an 



300 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

of the Committee should come to Parliament and then go to the 
President. He was supported by every section of the Opposition 
except the Hindi chauvinists. Once again, the Congress Party 
whip cracked : yet the Government could only muster a little over 
200 votes in order to steam-roller the 40 odd votes cast in 
favour of Kamath’s amendment. Even Kamath was constrained 
to observe that those who had voted for Clause 4 had supported the 
by-passing of Parliament, as Parliament had no power to say by 
a motion whether it agreed wholly or partly with or entirely 
disapproved of the report of a committee elected by Parliament. 

Fraud On Non-Hindi Peoples 

It was claimed by Government that the Bill was a good compro- 
mise. The truth was that it was a compromise with the Hindi fana- 
tics and was a complete dishonouring of the Prime Minister’s assur- 
ance that English would be the alternate language until otherwise 
decided by the non-Hindi speaking people. The decision would 
now rest with a handful of picked members who would make their 
dictated decisions behind closed doors. I was thus obliged at the 
third reading stage to oppose the Bill in one sentence, “Because the 
Bill is a travesty of the Prime Minister’s assurance given to the non- 
Hindi-speaking peoples : because it is a calculated scheme for the 
blanket imposition of Hindi by the back-door : because it is a cal- 
culated scheme for side-tracking not only the non-Hindi-speaking 
Legislatures but Parliament and, finally, because, in effect, the Bill 
is a fraud in law on the non-Hindi speaking people." 

Bitter Revulsion In The South 

In furtherance of my campaign against the menace of Hindi Im- 
perialism, I addressed mass meetings in Madras and Bangalore in 
October, 1963. The tremendous popular response to my speeches 
was a measure of how strong was the feeling in South India against 
the imposition of Hindi. An ominous, if unhappy, incident at 
Bangalore underlined this strong feeling. At the end of my speech 
to a packed meeting at the Bangalore Town Hall, the National 
Anthem was being played. Among the audience were men of emin- 
ence from every walk of life. Judges of the High Court, lawyers, edu- 
cationists and doctors. General Thimmaya, a former Chief of the 
Indian Army, was noticeable standing to soldierly attention. 



POST-ISDFJKCDEXCE BATTLES 


301 


Sudden!)’, in die midst of the National Anthem there was consider- 
able commotion in the gallery. The police had to intersene. An 
enquiry showed that some of the members of the audience, educated 
men and women, were shouting interruptions during the National 
Anthem, wanting to convey that the National Anthem was meant 
to unite the Country, but if it continued to be played »n Hindi, or 
what they considered to be Hindi, in the South it would be resented 
and would become a symbol of division. This unhappy incident 
only underlined the deep, bitter, universal resentment in the South 
against Hindi imposition, which the Central Government, function- 
ing in Delhi in an atmosphere of Hindi unreality, could continue to 
ignore only at the peril of the Country’s unity. 

Tlie reaction in the Madras State was eloquently summarised in 
an editorial in “The Mail”, an influential Indian-owned English- 
medium daily. 

“The Mail,” Madras, Saturday, October 26, 1963. 

English 

“Those who attended the public meeting addressed by Mr. Frank 
Anthony on Friday could scarcely in their experience have listened 
to a more closely reasoned, eloquent and cogent presentation of the 
case for English. The stream of orderly and lucid argument, its 
level surface lashed now' and again by gusts of passionate feeling, 
flow ed on unhasting, unresting Tor over an hour. English has been 
described by one of its great masters as ‘an unsurpassed instrument 
of human expression’. Mr. Anthony’s address illustrates its multi- 
tudinous resources. Those whose cars are attuned to the great har- 
monies of that language will be saddened beyond words by his ex- 
haustive and moving account of the demoniac attempts of the Hindi 
fanatics to extirpate it root and branch from Indian life where for a 
century and more it has struck such deep and fruitful roots. The 
disheartening story is revealed in its entirety. ‘Every form of politi- 
cal hypocrisy was pressed into service’ not only by the Bombay 
Government but also by the high and mighty in New Delhi to de- 
prive English of its rightful place.” 

“Mr. Anthony is the leader of the Anglo-Indian Community on 
behalf of which, he says, he ‘entered a Anal human plea’ when every 
other had failed. But English is not the monopoly of the Anglo- 
Indian Community. This only strengthens the case for English, 



302 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COS a [UNITY 


which long ago ceased to be a foreign language and which, in the 
pregnant phrase of Mr. Rajagopalachari, is ‘Saraswathi’s gift to 
India’. It is, as Mr.Anthony pointed out, much less ‘foreign’ to 
the educated classes in India than Hindi.” 

“The conclusive argument for its retention is that, as Dr. Laksh* 
manaswami Mudaliar said, its abandonment 'would lead to the 
utter destruction of all possible advance in science and technology’. 
The cruel paradox of Indian life today is that while the Prime 
Minister and the Government talk ceaselessly about India emerg- 
ing into the nuclear age their policies are calculated to put her back 
into the bullock-cart age. Who believes in earnest that Hindi can 
take the place of English in the foreseeable future or that its adop- 
tion as the official language will not plunge the Country into pri- 
mordial chaos? The Prime Minister’s ‘formula’ afforded some 
ground lor hope that the present insensate march towards confusion 
and darkness would, in some measure, be arrested : but by tactics 
which it is sufficient to term adroit even that formula has been 
jettisoned. Parliament has been by-passed : the State Governments 
have been coerced or hoodwinked. AU the unanswerable arguments 
for the retention of English have been put forward again and again 
by educationists and others who have the best title to speak on the 
subject, though perhaps they have never been marshalled and pre- 
sented with such force and clarity as by Mr. Anthony. They have 
fallen on deaf ears because Reason has ceased to be the decisive in- 
fluence in Indian affairs. The only hope of the educated people 
consists in the certitude that English will one day again come back 
into its own when Hindi will be discovered to have been an agent 
of ignorance. But a great deal of avoidable hurt would have been 
inflicted in the meanwhile on the common weal.” 

Afounting Revulsion Against Hindi 
Inevitably, the increasing intolerance, obscurantism and, indeed, 
overweening arrogance of the Hindi chauvinists created their own 
reaction. This reaction gained momentum after the passage of the 
Official Languages Act in 1963. It was realised, increasingly, that 
the Act was a travesty of the Nehru assurance of permanent biling- 
ualism. In December, 1963, C.N. Annadurai, leader of the 
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and four others were sentenced to 
six months’ rigorous imprisonment each on charge of a criminal 



303 


POST-INDEPENDENCE BATTLES 

conspiracy to burn the language chapter of the Constitution. Mr. 
M.C. Chagla, the then Education Minister, did hu best to br ‘ n S 
sanity and a healing touch to the situation. Repeatedly he pleaded 
against too much of politics in education: he also urged educa- 
tionists not to play politics. But nothing could stop the crud.lv, the 
vulgarity and the growing Imperial lust of the Hindi chauv.mst^ 
In January, 1904, 27-year old Chi nnaswamy burnt himseir to 
death as a protest against the rising tide of Hindi Imperialism But 
the Hindi Tanatics continued their insane course. In Uttar Pradesh, 
in February, the Socialists walked out because the Governor, Mr. 
Bishwanath Das, addressed the joint session in English with a small 
introduction in Hindi. The then President, Dr. Radhakr.shnan, 
rather than submit to the blackmail by Hindi chauvinists, who in- 
sisted that the Presidential address should be first delivered in Hindi, 
appeared to have decided to undergo an eye operation so that the 
'Vice-President could deliver the address in Hindi. 

True to form, Uttar Pradesh, which usually has been the spear- 
head of Hindi chauvinism, gave a typical demonstration m Angus 
1964. There was a complete breakdown of any semblan 
decorum in the U.P.Vidhan Sabha when 28 Opposition members 
•were suspended or forcibly removed from ‘be House. Ih 
demonstration was against a perfectly legitimate Bill which sought 
to allow amendments to enactments passed in English also 
made in the same language even after 1965. 

In the welter of growing language madness, Mr Chagla, the 
Union Education Minister, in October, 1964, called for a rea c- 
tion of the implications of going ahead with the introduction of the 
regional languages as media of instruction at the n, '^ rsl ^ 5 , 
without, at the same time, providing a link language- e 
plead for two proposals, ..hid. have now been killed by the Hmd. 
chauvinist!, that education should become a concurrent subject and 
that an all-India education service he created to maintain some 
semblance rf uniformity in educational policy. Speaking m 
Rajya Sabha in 196-1, Chagla said that he would not submit to pres- 
sure, however great, which would undermine national 
underlined that national unity was paramount and that 
required svas a bond between different people, universities, court, o 
law, schools and academicians. He said that he was 
the attitude of those who waned to do away with Englnh in haste. 



304 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Speaking in the Lok Sakha in November, 1964, amidst much bad- 
gering by the Hindi zealots, Chagta adhered to his position that 
while he did not emphasise the supremacy of English he shuddered 
to think of the day when interpreters will be needed at a conference 
of Indians. 

In the meantime, the antics of the Hindi chauvinists produced 
their own inevitable, increasing revulsion not only in Madras but 
in the other States. The West Bengal Public Vehicles Department 
seized all transport vehicles with Hindi number-plates coming from 
Bihar and the U.P. The Department pointed out that the police 
found it difficult to enforce traffic regulations as they were unable 
to understand the Hindi number-plates. They also complained 
that to make matters worse, the communications received from the 
Transport Departments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were written 
in Hindi. All number-plates in West Bengal had to be in inter- 
national numerals. 

In January, 1965, anti-Hindi rallies were held all over the Madras 
State. In February, 1965, 24 persons were killed during a State-wide 
hartal, which had been launched by the Tamil Students Anti-Hindi 
Agitation Council. A peak in this tragedy, provoked by the grow- 
ing pressures of the Hindi Imperialists, was reached in February, 
1965, when two persons, Muthu Goundar and Vecrapan, head- 
master or an elementary School, burnt themselves to death in a 
protest against Hindi becoming the official language. This 
brought the number of self-immolation cases to 5. 

In Calcutta, in February, anti-Hindi demonstrations were held. 
Cinema houses cancelled the screening of Hindi films. The anti- 
Hindi flames were spreading steadily to the rest of the Country. In 
February, 1965, in Ncllore in the coastal area of Andhra Pradesh, 
2 persons were tilled and 3 injured during demonstrations against 
Hindi. O.V. Alagesan, the Minister of State for Petroleum and 
Chemicals, submitted his resignation in February, 1965. He under- 
lined the need to give real statutory effect to the Nehru assurance 
that English will be used as long as the non-Hindi speaking people 
want it. 

In Calcutta, once again, in February, 1965, the students of 
Jadhavpur University protested against the introduction of Hindi 
in fclace of English. The Hindi Resistance Committee of West 
Bengal in a communication to the Anti-Hindi Committee of Madras 



305 


POST-INDEPENDENCE SUTTEES 

"i *'”*» S c ^i'a"/tL''*.*rclSor S a week 

;“o- c °" JK« » f 

TIM as .he official 

languafe. ,|,e President reiterated the 

On the 17.1. nr Febnurj. . •* 5 ; continue as the Associate 

Go.emmenl s assurance that En C l1 ' . .. u people so desire. 
oiTtcial language as Ions as i the no - ^ d a „ thc schools 

ssryssr ra- •-*- ^ c ° u " c “ “ ,tal 

for a State-wide hartal. iiv-dcrabad : 3 people were 

Anti-Hindi revulsion erupted again > ^ opcne d fire. In 

hilled in Hindupur and Ananlpur wh E J° from ^e, Kerala, 

February, 1905, ''i"”’ 01 "'! toeethcr to eooetrt measures 
Andhra Pradesh and IS eat I^nga ^ ^sensui that emerged 
to oppose the imposition of II • Vllllh Schedule of the 

svas that all the languages mentioned . , languages with 

Constitution should he given the status of national gu 
English aa the official language. underlined that he 

^i=for h hi.hn^r=':ha, he wanted svas the status 

^meantime, in the Centra. Covernmeut, 

or well-known Hindi fanatics, circu Union and that the 

Hindi had become the official language^ on ^ circular 

entire work would be done m Hmd, Cornmen ^ q Subrarna - 

issued by the Ministry or Food and gr Hindi ’ enthusiasts in the 
mam, tile then Minister, said that some Hmd. 

Ministry seemed to have issued the :<a State Legisla- 

in February, 1965, 9 his addresa in 

ture walked out in protest when the uo 

Hindi. . . . e n in parliament, svas 

Meanwhile, the Hind, Chanvinut hloc, ^n , uhn , itteti a 

not idle. In February, 1965, *’?' “ ' “ f , h; prora Ised amendment 
memorandsun against the tnt uc l signatories were Cong- 

to the Official Langsurges Aet. Some of the »P» 



306 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

ress M. Ps. thus underlining the feet that Hindi Imperialism cuts 
across party affiliations. 

The anti-Hindi revulsion continued to simmer in the South: m 
March, 1965, one person was killed in Ootacamund when the police 
opened fire on anti-Hindi agitators. 

Amendment To The Official Languages Act 
In December, 1967, a Bill to amend the Official Languages Act of 
1963 was introduced. It took the blood-bath in the South to make 
the Central Government acknowledge that the 1963 Act was not, 
indeed, a fulfilment of the Nehru assurance to the non-Hindi speak- 
ing people. I give below my speech in Parliament on. this amend- 
ing Bill and the accompanying resolution. Apart from analysing 
the amendments, my speech serves to recapture the atmosphere of 
the sheer intolerance and, indeed, the overweening arrogance 
displayed, even in Parliament, by the Hindi Imperialists. 

“Shri Frank Anthony (Nominated Anglo-Indians): Mr. Chairman, 
Sir, may I say with great respect that there does not seem to have 
been much attention paid to what is before the House — this amend- 
ing Bill and the resolution. I propose to confine my remarks to 
the amending Bill and the resolution. 

The Home Minister had mentioned that this amending Bill was 
a compromise. I agree entirely with him that it is a compromise, 
it is a compromise between the Nehru assurance and the increasing, 
the unremitting pressure oF the Hindi lobby both in the Congress 
Party and outside. You may remember that when the original Bill 
or the original measure was on the anvil I had analysed what be- 
came sections 3 and 4. I pointed out that they constituted a calculat- 
ed scheme for the blanket imposition of Hindi by the back-door. I 
had summed up my opposition to that original measure at the third 
reading stage in one sentence. I said that it was travesty of the 
Nehru assurance, that it was a calculated scheme for the imposition 
of Hindi by the back-door and that it was, indeed, a fraud on the 
non-Hindi speaking people. 

Sir, I will concede this to the Hindi zealots that they have been 
consistent, they have been consistent in their intention to ensure 
that the Nehru assurance is not implemented, they have been 
consistent in their intention to ensure that the Nehru assurance is 
both sabotaged and indeed dishonoured (Interruptions). I am 



TOST-XNDErESDEXCE BATTLES 30? 

only dealing with the Nehru assurance, nothing outside. 

Some people, including my hon. friend who Iras interrupted me, 
seek to invoke the Constitution; either — I do not want to be harsh, 
in the courts I am the personification of mildness and 1 do not want 
to impute any motives — they do not choose to understand the plain 
language of the Constitution or deliberately they seek to distort it in 
order to suit this Hindi imposition motive. Article 343 is invoked 
in season and out of season. Equally it is distorted in season and 
out or season. The Hindi protagonists say, look at Article 343, it 
sets an absolute dead-line after 1965 for the complete imposition 
of Hindi as the sole official language. I say, no. I say, look at the 
whole article, look at clause (3) which is a non-obstante clause. 
You know, Sir, what a non-obstante clause is. What does clause 
(3) of Article 343 say? It says: 

“Notwithstanding anything in this article, 

Parliament may by law provide for the use, after the said period 
of fifteen yean, of— 

(a) The English language, " 

It sap that notwithstanding anything in Article 343, after 15 years, 
that is , after 1965, Parliament may specify the use for English. In 
my respectful submission— the Hindi protagonists will not agree — 
provided Parliament specifies the use, it may say, in terms, that after 
1965 English shall continue for ail the official purposes of the Union. 
That, in my respectful submission, is the plain and ordinary mean- 
ing of the non-obstante clause. The non-obstante clause effaces 
everything before it, effaces the reference to Hindi being the official 
language of the Country. 

Travesty Of The Nehru Assurance 
As 1 said, the original Dill, in my respectful submission, was a 
travesty of the Nehru assurance. I say this wi th great respect to the 
Home Minister that this amending Bill is a continuing travesty of 
the Nehru assurance. All the basic defects, all the basic snares in 
the original Bill are still continued. You may remember the langu- 
age used — English MAY be used in addition to Hindi. 

Now, Sir, I had written to Jawaharlal Nehru. He had replied 
to me on the 18th April, 1963. 1 told him that this laqgua_§re, this 
permissive language was a travesty of his assurance to the non-Hindi 
speaking people. He replied to me — I have got his letter, reply. 



308 THE STOUT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMHONITT 

with me- — saying that it was his intention that it should be mandatory 
and he had been advised that “may” in that context meant “shall”. 
That was the clear intention of the Nehru assurance propounded 
by Nehru himself, that it will have to be mandatory. But what 
happened? When I was seeking a clarification, the then Home 
Minister Shastriji — I loved him but I had to fight him on this issue- 
said that “may” means “may"; “may” is permissive, and in this 
context how will it be interpreted? I do not want to point a finger 
at all the members of the Central Cabinet. I believe the Home 
Minister wants to try and implement the Nehru assurance. But he 
and other people like him — God knows there arc only a handful 
there — arc complete captives of the dominant Hindi chauvinist 
bloc in the Central Cabinet itself. In that view of the matter, what 
will it mean? It will mean that it is a complete travesty of the 
Nehru assurance; that Hindi shall be there for all official purposes, 
that will be the interpretation. English may be, or indeed it may 
not be, used for a single official purpose. That is what the present 
amending Bill means. It is a complete and utter travesty of the 
Nehru assurance. 

My friends, the Hindi zealots arc worked up. Certain sops have 
been given. I agree; they have spelt out certain mandatory uses 
for the English language. But if you analyse the mandatory uses, 
they are an insult to the Nehru formula. You have merely spelt 
out certain utterly inconsequential, valueless uses for mandatory 
purposes. In my respectful submission, this was not the Nehtu 
assurance, this was not the assurance of bilingualism. 

Then, I would ask you to recall what was section 4, the original 
section, which has not been touched. One of my strenuous objec- 
tions was to the original section 4. It is intact. What is section 4 
which remains intact. I had attacked it, because it says that after 
10 years, that is, 10 years after 1963, that was the date on which 
it was put on the legislative anvil, there will be a committee. I say 
that committee will be a mockery because that committee will be 
hand-picked, it will be packed; that committee will be picked by 
Parliament, but it will be mockery of a parliamentary committee, 
because the report of that committee will not come back to Parlia- 
ment. So, this section 4 is a negation of a parliamentary committee. 
The report of that so-called parliamentary committee. Parliament 
will not be able to amend it by one single word, Parliament will not 



1*0 ST'IN DEPENDENCE B VTTLES 309 

be able to amend it by a single syllable. That report will go 
directly to the President. He may be an avowed Hindi chauvinist 
and he will make his recommendations for the blanket imposition 
of Hindi. 

What does this amending Bill do? I am surprised that even my 
friends of the DMK have not analysed it. A few crumbs, a few 
crumbs, a few scraps have been thrown from the table of the Hindi 
masters, from the Hindi Herrenvolk to the non-Hindi speaking 
people. What arc these crumbs? Look at these crumbs — com- 
munications between one department of the Government and an- 
other will carry an English translation,' resolutions, general orders, 
rules, notifications, contracts between one department and another, 
they will also carry an English translation. Is this the assurance of 
bilingualism? It is a negation of the Nehru assurance of bilingua- 
lism. It is a garish mockery of that assurance. That assurance 
was that until the non-Hindi speaking people decide, at least till 
then, English will be used for all the official purposes, in addition 
to Hindi. 

Is this the assurance? As I said, it is a cynical travesty; this Bill 
Is nothing but a cynical travesty of the Nehru assurance to the non- 
Hindi speaking people. 

The Bill, itself, it contains all the means, all the instruments, this 
amending Bill, if you analyse it — nobody has bothered about it. — I 
am doing it as a lawyer — it contains all the means, all the instru- 
ments for the blanket imposition of Hindi. 

Shri S.S. Kothari : A good advocate for a bad cause, a lost cause. 

Shri Frank Anthony : It is not a lost cause. You are destroying 
the Country. 

All that was necessary in order that the Nehru assurance should 
have been honestly, really implemented, was, as I told Jawaharlal 
Nehru, an ordinary two-line measure that English shall be used as 
the associate language, in addition to Hindi, for all the official 
purposes of the Union, and also alternatively because even the Par- 
liamentary Committee on languages, of which I was a member, said 
that even after 1 965 Hindi will not be sufficiently developed for some 
of the major purposes, and there English must be used as the princi- 
pal language. That ss-ould have been an implementation of the 
assurance. 



310 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Tortuous Resolution 

Now, look at the resolution. 

The resolution, with great respect to Mr. Chavan — I do not think 
he had much to do with it — is even more tortuous; it is even more 
devious than this amending Bill. It is another surrender to this 
unremitting pressure by the dominant, clamorous Hindi bloc in the 
Congress Party and outside. 

What does it do? The few scraps, the few crumbs that this 
amending Bill purports to throw to the non-Hindi helots, like the 
DMK people, even those are negated and stultified. Look at the 
built-in devices in the resolution itself for the blanket imposition of 
Hindi : the imposition of the three-language formula : promotions 
and confirmations will depend on passing a Hindi test : a multipli- 
city of media leading inevitably to the quota system, and the quota 
system meaning what? The largest quota going to the Hindi- 
speaking people. Why? Because they have the largest number of 
illiterate heads in the country. 

Shri Bhola Nath (Alwar) : Why not? This is a democracy. 

Yes, we must enjoy. 

Shri Frank Anthony : That is a new interpretation of democracy, 
that for entrance into the superior services where some education is 
required you must count the number of illiterate heads. That is 
quite a new and a devious interpretation of democracy. 

The worst feature in this resolution is — it is worse even than sec- 
tion 4 — that there has to be an annual review guaranteeing the pro- 
gressive imposition or Hindi. My objection to section 4 was that, 
contrary to the Nehru assurance of bilingualism until the non-Hindi 
speaking people so decide, under section 4 after 10 years you can 
have the blanket imposition of Hindi by a packed committee, but 
here by this provision for a review every year, it may not be even 
ten years. Within a year, within two years or within three years, by 
the back-door, through this provision, there will be the blanket 
imposition of Hindi. 

Shri Kanwar Lai Gupta : Why back-door? 

Shri Frank Anthony : Let me deal with some of the Items in the 
resolution — I should have liked to deal with all. I should like to 
deal with some briefly. 

The Home Minister in his resolution has referred to Article 351 
of the Constitution. I agree with him that Article 351 is a directive 



rOST-INDCTENDEXCr. BATTLES 


311 


principle. It casts a duty on the Union to develop Hindi so that it 
will be— tv hat? You know what it was meant to be — an expression 
of the composite culture of all the elements. That much the Home 
Minister put in. He omits — I do not say that he did it deliberate- 
ly — the second part of Article 351. What does Article 351 in the 
second part say? It says, “In order to represent the elements of the 
composite culture of India, Hindi will draw on the forms, the styles 
and the expressions of Hindustani, on the languages in the VUIth 
Schedule and primarily on Sanskrit." 

Who has stultified Article 351 ? The Central Government, apart 
from the Hindi zealots, has done that. Has Article 351 got any 
meaning and content today? Every style, every form and every 
expression in Hindustani — has been deliberately purged from the 
new Hindi: although it is the commonest language currency, to- 
day Hindustani has been driven out not because it is Urdu but be- 
cause it has an Urdu sound. 

I learnt Hindi as my second language. At least I thought it was 
Hindi. I have earned not a little money at the bar through the 
medium or Hindi. Today, I am an illiterate because of the new 
Hindi, because of the artificial monstrosities of All-India Radio. 
Today we have become illiterates because of the new Hindi.... 
(Interruptions). 

Shri Frank Anthony: People talk glibly. They talk of 2 per cent 
of the people being English-knowing and 40 per cent being Hindi 
knowing. Either these are deliberate canards or they are deliberate- 
ly ignorant statements. I will nor talk about the English figures but 
what are the Hindi figures? Look at the 1951 census and after that 
the 1961 census. You will find that Hindi which does not consti- 
tute even 25 per cent has filched the figures for a whole range of 
languages which have nothing to do with Hindi. Urdu, Punjabi, 
Rajasthani — over 70 dialects — have all been included. The census has 
been doctored to inflate the figure of 25 percent. . . . (Interruptions). 

The tragedy with my friends is that they will not argue at a ra- 
tional level; they sink to vulgarities. 

That will not do. No crudity, my hon. friends. You do not 
understand English. 

Shri Hardayal Devgun (East Delhi) : You use vulgar language. 
You have been using abusive language saying Hindi chauvinists 
and all that. 



312 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO- INDIAN COIOIUNITY 

Shri Frank Anthony; I can only pity my friend’s knowledge 
of English if he says that ‘chauvinists’ is a word of abuse. 

Sir, the resolution talks of accelerating the development of Hindi. 
I say ‘yes’. I have given a substitute resolution. If the Central 
Government wants to accelerate it, let it accelerate it at the cost 
of the Hindi States. Why? (Interruptions). When I speak the 
truth, they get offended. Today, Hindi is a comparatively new and 
an undeveloped language. You cannot develop a language by arti- 
ficial respiration, by throwing away crorcs of rupees. ... (Inter- 
ruptions). The tragedy is that they do not like anybody to make 
out a case. They want to shout them down. Let them try to 
understand and counter my arguments. 

Shri Hardaya! Devgun: Are not words like ‘fanatics’ and ‘chauvin- 
ists’ abuses? This is an abusive language. 

Shri Frank Anthony: What a pathetic commentary on my 
friend’s knowledge of the English language. It is choice language, 
the quintessence of dignity of language ....(Interruption). 

Shri Hardayal Devgun : If this is the dignity of language, we 
pity you. 

Shri Frank Anthony : As a sop to the non-Hindi speaking people, 
my friend the Home Minister has said that Government will develop 
the languages in the Vllllh Schedule and Hindi. With great res- 
pect to my friend, the Home Minister, may I say that this part of the 
resolution is the greatest affront to the many Indian languages that 
arc not in the VHIth Schedule? Some of the languages in the 
VIHtb Schedule arc not regional languages; some of them are not 
the official language ofa State. Now, if you want to insult the other 
Indian languages, you may insult them but don’t insult the official 
language of a State. 

Sir, I argued it in the Supreme Court, whatever my friends may 
say, and as a result of my argument — let them go and look at the 
1954 judgment of the Supreme Court in the Bombay Education 
Society case; my friends will not probably accept it — the Supreme 
Court said that English is as much an Indian language as any other 
language because it is the language of Mr. Anthony’s Community. 
They went on further and affirmed that not only b it equal in status 
to the languages in the VHIth Schedule. . . . (Interruptions). I am 
telling them what the Supreme Court has said and they are shouting 
it down. Today, the position is much stronger. . . . (Interruptions). 



POST-LVOEPCN'DENCE BATTLES 313 

' Mr. Chairman : Let him be allowed to proceed. The Supreme 
Court judgments do stand. 

Shri Frank Anthony: The Supreme Court said that English is 
not only equal in status to the languages in the VII 1th Schedule but 
it is the dominant Indian language because it is the language of 
the Constitution, it is the language of the Supreme Court, it is 
the language of the High Courts and, unlike what Mr. Chavan 
said, it is the only language of authoritative legislation. . . .(Inter- 
ruptions). I am not going to attempt to reply to my friends there. 
My friend asks me : What is the position today? Today, the posi- 
tion is infinitely stronger. Today, Nagaland has chosen, rightly, 
to adopt the English language — presumably, Nagaland is an Indian 
State— as the ofTicial language. . « .(Interruptions). 

Shri Kanwar Lai Gupta : So what? 

Shri Frank Anthony : So far, you have been insulting my Com- 
munity because it is a small Community : You have been deliberate- 
ly insulting us. . . .(Interruptions). 

Mr. Chairman : Will you kindly sit down? Let him proceed. 

Shri Frank Anthony: What do you say? You point to my 
language and you say, destroy it. .. .(Interruptions). The other 
day, my wife was insulted — I do not want to bring in such a thing 
here (Interruptions). Is it because we are supposed to be forei- 

gners and speak a foreign language? Today you insult us because 
you think you can do it. Today, the Central Government says that 
the Nagas are welcome in spite of the pressures from the Hindi 
chauvinists. 

You cannot both eat your cake and have it too with regard to the 
Nagas. You cannot say to the Nagas, "Yes, you are welcome, but 
your language is anathema to us. So far you have insulted this 
language because it was only the language of the Anglo-Indians. 
But now you will not be able to say that to the Nagas, not only be- 
cause it is my language, but because it is an ofTicial language, it is a 
regional language, it has a superior status to many of the languages 
in the VHIth Schedule which are neither regional languages nor 
official languages. 

Multiplicity Of Media 

Let me now deal with the question of the multiplicity of media. 

I know that even my friends from Tamil Nad have subscribed to 



314 THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

that — multiplicity of media for the examinations for the Centra! 
Services. But who has studied the implications? I regret to say 
this that the Central Government, on vital matters, comes to snap 
decisions; some momentary political pressure and the most vital 
decisions having disastrous consequences for the Country are arrived 
at. Jawaharlal Nehru was angry with me when I fought him and 
told him about the impetus that he was giving to disintegration 
when there was that decision about linguistic reorganisation taken 
on the basis of slogans, which had ceased to have any validity in the 
new Indian context. (Interruptions). Today, my friends have 
not analysed the position. I have to analyse it because I know some- 
thing about it. For the I.A.S. examination, how many examiners 
are there? There are about 70 examiners, and they have to be 
changed every 3 years. Multiply them by 12 or 14. We find 
difficulty to get suitable examiners for the IAS when they have to 
be changed. Multiply it by 12 or 14. Where will you find suitable 
examiners in 12 or 14 languages (Interruptions). I am showing 
the implications (Interruptions). 

Mr. Chairman •. Please allow him to proceed. 

Shri Frank Anthony : Then you will have to have 12 or 14 Viva 
Voce boards, each competing in mark-giving. So far, you had one 
person standing first in the IAS, but now you will have 12 or 14 
persons standing first in the IAS. 

Shri Rabi Roy : To kya hua? 

Shri Frank Anthony : The ‘Kya Hua’ will be this that the com- 
petition will be not among the examinees, the competition will be 
among the examiners. That will be the ‘Kya Hua’. Then, what 
will he the further ‘Kya Hua’ ? The further ‘Kya Hua’ will be this 
that because of this competition among examiners, my friend Dr. 
Ram Subhag Singh will put in his whole weight, which is not in- 
considerable, behind the quota system and while he puts in his 
weight behind the quota system, what will happen? (Interrup- 
tion). 

An Hon. Member : Mr. Piloo Mody is here to outweigh him. 

Shri Frank Anthony: At present about 3 or 5 per cent of the people 
who get into the Central Services by competition are from the Hindi 
States. That cannot be helped. If they have got only 3 million 
literates in the Hindi areas in the whole Country, they are very lucky 
to be able to get 3 or 5 per cent. (Interruptions). That is all. 



POST-INDEPENDENCE BATHES 3 1 3 

What to do? You have barely 3 million literates. I am giving 
you the figures. The position will be this. You will want to have 
the quota system. Then my friends will invoke democracy and 
they will get 40% instead of 3 or 5 per cent for the IAS; you will have 
40% of the most pitiful ignoramuses from the Hindi States coming 
into and dominating the Central Services. 

Shri Hardayal Dcvgun: They got less percentage in Services 
because they were fighting against British imperialism. 

Mr. Chairman : He may conclude. 

The Three-Language Formula 

Shri Frank Anthony: Sir, I will conclude by referring to that 
part of the resolution which talks of the three-language formula. 
Now, with great respect, may I say to Mr. Chavan that it is a piece 
of palpable usurpation of authority? You know, Sir, Secondary 
and Higher Secondary education represent exclusively a State sub- 
ject. The States svill say, 'Who are you to tell us that we shall have 
a three-language formula?’ It is a piece not only of unwarranted 
dictation; States like Tamil Nad will say that it is a piece of 
unwarranted impertinence. 

Sir, my friend. Dr. Triguna Sen, is here. I like him. Unfortu- 
nately, when he performs too many somersaults, I have to be criti- 
cal. When he performed one somersault he subscribed apparently 
in a prehensile way to the two-language formula. May I say, with 
great respect tD him, that was one of the few sensible things — this 
two-language formula — of which he has been guilty so far. 

Another of his somersaults has been interpreted by the U.P. 
Government to mean the banishing of the three-language formula. 
The U.P. Government has banished the three-language formula. 
They have not even got a two-language formula. They have got a 
one-language formula. They have arrogated to themselves the 
privilege of having a one-language formula. They went through 
the motions of learning a third language from the South : all that 
has disappeared. 

Now you are going to take power in this resolution to say to them, 
to say to the others, when the U.P. has buried it and has a one- 
language formula, ‘You, the Tamils, you the Bengalis . . . .* (Inter- 
ruptions). 

Shri Hardayal Devgun rose. 



316 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Mr. Chairman: Please don’t interrupt. Please resume your 
seat. I am here to look after matters. 

Shri Hardayal Devgun : Can he talk in this way, Sir? 

Shri Frank Anthony: I do not mind these interruptions, Sir. 
How will you say, when you have arrogated, when the Hindi 
States have arrogated to themselves, the right of having a one-langu- 
age formula, how will you say to the Tamils and the Bengalis, 
’You shall have the three-language formula so that Hindi may be' 
imposed on you’? 

As I said, Sir, this amending Bill is a continuing travesty of the 
Nehru assurance. The resolution is an even greater travesty. 

(Speech Ends) 

But the resolution, even in its travestied form, was not acceptable 
to the Hindi zealots. Every pressure, overt and covert, was used by 
the Hindi protagonists within the Congress Party and outside to 
dilute the resolution further. In the result the Government, ab- 
jectly dependent on the votes of the Hindi bloc, accepted an amend- 
ment which in effect requires the non-Hindi speaking elements to 
study three languages while the Hindi Herrenvolk will have the 
right to leam only one language, their mother-tongue Hindi. 

Organised. Terror Campaign 

The main plank in the Hindi chauvinists’ programme has been to 
trade in hate. A cheap, obscurantist device was to try to work up 
emotion among the illiterates and the semi-illiterates, which number 
includes not a few legislators, against English as a foreign language. 
In Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut and Benares there was organised 
rioting in November and December, 1967. According to press 
reports the Hindi Sena, inspired and guided by certain political 
parties, even enforced a levy on behalf of the Hindi cause. 
Reporting on the organised violence in Kanpur, ‘The Weekend 
Review*, a Hindustan Times publication, observed that, “The scenes 
perpetrated by pro-Hindi fanatics in Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut 
and Benares were doubly horrifying. The physical humiliation 
and wanton destruction suffered by the few shopkeepers who refused 
to bow down to the mob was pitiable." The report continued, 
“All these acts of vandalism were perpetrated under the paternal 
and indulgent eye of the police.’’ BrijBhardwaj, the correspondent 
writing this report, continued, “While this orgyofloot, destruction 



POST-INDEPENDENCE BATTLES 


317 


and anon was going on I wondered where were the police, the 
Government, the political leaders, the law-abiding citizens, the sages, 
the wizards and the moral exponents of this great country with its 
‘golden heritage’.’* 

‘The Weekend Review’, reporting on the organised violence by the 
Hindi fanatics in New Delhi, pointed out that on December 5, 1967, 
about 500 students went round the Campus of the Delhi University 
shouting anti-English slogans, but since they represented only a 
small section of the Delhi University students, they did not succeed. 
It teas at this stage that Hindi Sainiks from Uttar Pradesh rushed 
to Delhi to organise the agitation by mobilising the students in all 
the colleges and schools. 17 buses of the Delhi Transport Under- 
taking, including4 private buses, were damaged; G private cars were 
smashed as their owners did not agree to change their number- 
plates. Even Parliament was not spared the latest techniques of 
the Hindi neo- Imperialists. As reported in the press, the Lok 
Sabha witnessed unprecedented scenes during the debate on the 
Bill to amend the Official Languages Act. A Jan Sangh member 
burnt a copy of the BilJJn the tlousc. “The glass-panes of the lobby 
doors were broken by some members; there \\ ere frequent scenes of 
pandemonium and persistent defiance of the Chair; unparliamentary 
and abusive language was used and there were even threats of the 
use of physical force." 

Commenting on the scene in Parliament, I wrote, “The atmos- 
phere in Parliament had to be seen to be believed. As the second 
seniormost member in the House I have seen the Legislative scene 
unfold, at the Centre, since before Independence. However bitter 
the occasion or the provocation, seldom was there any deliberate 
abdication of the well-tried and respected methods of Parliamentary 
debate and discussion. Today, some members, at least, show their 
utter bankruptcy in Parliamentary techniques by resorting to 
methods which would make the proverbial Fish-market blush. 
What saddened me beyond words was the atmosphere of sheer hate 
precipitated by the Hindi madmen. It was ominously reminiscent 
of the days in the Central Legislative Assembly immediately prece- 
ing Partition. Legislators, who were friends till yesterday, looked 
at one another with blood-shot, hate-filled eyes. And the blood- 
shot, hate-filled eyes of the Hindi fanatics had to be seen to be be- 
lieved. Quite obviously, they are prepared to divide the Country on 



318 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COSOJUNtrY 

the Hindi issue.” 

‘‘For many reasons the non-Hindi elements were in a position of 
disadvantage. In the first place, there is no hate motivation, no 
exuding of fanatical madness. Outside the D.M.K. there is no orga- 
nised resistance to the growing tentacles of Hindi Imperialism- 
Except for one notorious Hindi zealot, all members of the Congress 
Party were lashed by a rigorous Party Whip. Deep and passionate 
feelings there were and they cut across party lines. Thus the repre- 
sentatives from West Bengal spoke with one voice against the menace 
of Hindi Imperialism. A Communist member, Shri Nair from 
Kerala, who did not get an opportunity to speak during the general 
discussion, loudly registered his protest by shouting 4 times, “Down 
with Hindi Imperialism” and then walked out of the House.” 

“The Hindi hate-campaign of violence, terror and intimidation 
was obviously planned. Two Ministers from the U.P. came all the 
way to Delhi to defy and break the law. Their conduct before 
and after their arrest defied description. Deliberately, Ministers 
had cast themselves in the role of law-breakers and common 
criminals. Student elements in Delhi, said to be the pawns of the 
Jan Sangh and S.S.P., went on a rampage. There is little consola- 
tion that they belonged to the mucker elements of the student 
community. The stark, shameful fact was that they were able to 
hold the University to ransom and by arson, loot and violence to 
bring the rule of law into contempt. According to press reports, 
in the U.P. there was open incitement to and approbation of viol- 
ence by the Jan Sangh and the S S.P. From Patna it was reported 
that demonstrators, led by the Minister for Local Self-Government 
and the President of the Bihar Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, stoned 
the premises of the well-known English -medium newspaper 
‘Searchlight’ and sought to set fire to the office.” 

‘‘The rule of law was paralysed in the presence of organised viol- 
ence, crime and terror. We have yet to hear of commensurate 
punishment being meted out not only to Ministers, who deliberately 
cast themselves in the role of criminals, but to young brigands, mas- 
querading as students and breaking the law with cynical impunity.” 

Revulsion Against Hindi Spreads 

The planned violence and calculated terror in the Hindi States 
had its own inevitable reaction. Fortunately, the D.M.K. Ministry 



POST-INDEPENDENCE BATTLES 


319 


strongly condemned violence and appealed to the students to 
maintain discipline. Nevertheless, the anti-Hindi campaign was 
widespread and bitter. Trains were burnt, rail services were 
paralysed both on the metre and broad gauge sections of the 
Southern Railway. 

The revulsion spread to Kerala, Mysore and Andhra Pradesh. 
A two-day battle completely shattered the long-held belief that 
Bangalore could never become violent on the language issue and 
also erased the misconception that Mysore would give in to Hindi 
domination without a murmur. There was a 30-hour reign of terror 
on January 22 and 23, resulting in 5 deaths, owing to police firing, 
and 273 persons being injured. The Chief Minister of Kerala joined 
hands with the Chief Minister of Madras. He pointed out that 
with the people of Andhra and Mysore waking up to the dangers of 
the Official Languages Amending Act, a strong anti-Hindi belt was 
slowly growing in the South and that the Congress leaders could 
ignore this only at their peril. 

According to a news item from Hyderabad dated January 23, 
I960, reports from 1 1 districts of Andhra showed that the anti-Hindi 
agitation was being intensified and spreading fast. Trains were 
detained and damaged at many places. Strikes were reported 
from many educational institutions, and in Chitioor an effigy of 
Morarji Desai, the Deputy Prime Minuter, was burnt after the 
students had taken out a procession. 

An ominous but sad incident was reported in The Hindu, dated 
January 30, 1960. Speaking at an Engineering College in Banga- 
lore, General Cariappa referred to the fact that N.C.C. platoons 
had shown disrespect to the national flag at the Republic Day 
parade, at Mercara, at which General Cariappa was also present. 
The N.C.C. platoons of the Government College had refused to 
salute the flag because the commands were given in Hindi. 

A news item, dated January 31, showed that the anti-Hindi 
agitation -had spread to Mangalore. Students of the Government 
College and the Kasturba Medical College took out a procession 
and shouted anti-Hindi slogans. Hindi signboards at the railway 
station, Post and Telegraph offices and shops were disfigured and 
anti-Hindi slogans were written on the walls all over the city. 
Cinema houses exhibiting Hindi films announced their closure. 

Rajaji appealed to the Prime Minister to suspend the implementa- 



320 T1IE STORY or TIE ANGUMNDIAX COStVUMTY 

tion ofchapter seventeen of the Constitution dealing the official 

language until the political situation of the Country Stabilised ant! 
the economy improved. 

Protests continued to the amendment to the Official Languages 
Act. The Andhra Pradesh Joint Action Committee was formed by 
the studenti of Sri VenVatewara and O'tnania Universities and the 
anti -Hindi agitation was intensified in Andhra Pradesh. D. Jlama- 
murthy of Andhra Unisersity, a convener or the Committee, stated, 
“The student community in Andhra Pradesh arc one with the 
Madras students in their iota! opposition to die imposition of Hindi 
on South India and abolition of English in the North.” 

In Calcutta organised anti-Hindi demonstrations ssrrc held. 
According to press reports dated December 26, apart from parades 
in the street and the shouting of anti-Hindi slogans, Hindi signboards 
and Hindi posters in front of shops and cinema houses were dis- 
figured. 

Even Mr Kamaraj, the outgoing Congress President, pleaded for 
a change in ihe language policy for removing the additional burden 
that bad been cast upon the non-llindi entrants to the Central 
Services. The Chief Minister of Madras, Mr. Annadurai, accord- 
ing to press reports dated January 15, was of the view that with- 
out a satisfactory solution of the language issue based on the status 
quo ante, continuing in office would amount to alxlication of 
responsibility on the part of ihe present generation to the younger 
generation which would lie completely at a disadvantage in the all- 
India picture w hen it came of age and shouldered office twenty years 
afterwards. 

Rajaji, once again, expressed the view that only by shelving the 
language issue indefinitely and restoring the status quo ante ssith 
English as the sole official language of the Centre and as the means 
of communication between States, could the Country be saved. 

What happened to Morarji Desai's proposed visit to Madras 
was significant. On January 17, he was advised not to go to 
Madras because of bis uncompromising stand on the language 
issue. Discretion suggested that he should divert his programme to 
Bangalore. But even there massive demonstrations organised by 
anti-Hindi agitators led to the cancellation of his scheduled in- 
auguration of India's first cinerama theatre. Students from a num- 
ber of educaxinaal inswmte«& walked sy*c \V,tvs classes, slvousiwj. 



posr-iKDr.iTNTirNcr. e \mxs 321 

"We \ant Kannada and English and don’t want Hindi.” Accord* 
to press reports of January 22, the police had to fire to disperse 
the Bangalore students. 

Kama raj continued his protests against the amendment to the 
Official Languages Act and the accompanying resolution. Ac- 
cording to press reports of January 22, he said that the recent 
Official Languages amendment and the resolution would place 
national unity in jeopardy. He expressed his regret that the people 
in the Hindi area do not understand the realities in the non-Hindi 
regions. He said that English would have to be the link language 
for communication between the Hindi and the non-Hindi areas 
because English was the only language that could be used as the 
link language. He said that the amendment served to sow the 
seeds of disintegration and pointed the way straight to separation. 
He wanted this to be immediately undone. 

According to press reports from Trivandrum, dated January 
22, the Chief Minister of Kerala, Mr. Namboodiripad, announced 
in the Legislature that the State Government’s stand on the langu- 
age question was that English would continue as the link language. 
Namboodiripad added that his Government’s view was that people 
who were accustomed to the use of English should have the freedom 
to continue its use. 

According to press reports dated January 23, the Madras 
State Assembly adopted a resolution appealing to (he Union Govern- 
ment to suspend the operation of the Official Languages Amendment 
Act and to devise ways and means to ensure that the people in the 
non-Hindi regions were not subjected to any disadvantage or addi- 
tional burden. The resolution, moved by the Chief Minister, re- 
commended that Hindi commands in the N.C.C. and other units 
should be dropped and, if the Centre did not permit this, the N.C.C. 
in Madras would have to be disbanded. 

The latest position would appear to be that the N.C.C., in the 
Madras State, if not disbanded has been put into cold storage. 

Rajaji once again entered a plea for sanity. Writing in Swaraj ya 
of January 27, 1968, while protesting against the bilinguism for- 
mula, he said that it was a ‘Split-India charter’. “For the Hindi 
regions,” he wrote, “it is not bilinguism but a single language and 
tf tat the mother- tongue of the pwpiVr of those regions. For non- 
Hindi regions this bilinguism is prolonged trilinguism — English, the 



322 


THE STOUT OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


regional language and Hindi.” According to Rajaji, this prolong- 
ed bilinguism will be, “The cause of increasing confusion, delay, 
expense, inefficiency, conspiracy and indiscipline in all Central 

offices It will hit the young men and women of our land and bar 

them from official and professional work." 

The anti-Hindi resistance has continued to simmer in the Sou'll. 
In Andhra Pradesh, according to reports dated January 31, 1968, 
demonstrators burnt the effigy of the Prime Minister at 7 places; 
several district schools and colleges were closed and lathi-charges 
were made by the police. In Mangalore, Hindi signboards at the 
Tailway station, post and telegraph offices and shops v> ere disfigured 
and anti-Hindi slogans written all over the walls. 

In early February, anti-Hindi agitations continued throughout 
Andhra Pradesh. The anti-Hindi agitation in Mangalore took 
a serious turn. Detention of trains by students was reported. The 
screening of Hindi films was suspended in Nellore and schools and 
colleges in various parts or Andhra Pradesh were closed following 
the renewal of the anti-Hindi agitation. Andhra University was 
dosed till February 10. 

According to press reports dated March 6, 1960, the Madras 
Government ordered discontinuance of the teaching of Hindi in 
Anglo-Indian Schools and also in the State with immediate effect. 

According to press reports of September 26, the Madras Law 
Minister, S. Mad ha van, stated that the State Government would 
not allow the Central Government to start Hindi classes in Tamil 
Nad, as this would be an attempt to bring in Hindi by the back-door. 
It would also be an attempt to by-pass the decision of the State 
Government to abolish the teaching of Hindi in schools. The 
students of Coimbatore, according to press reports of October 3, 
went on strike protesting against the starting of single-teacher Hindi 
schools in the Madras State. 

Some Hindi Imperialists, typifying their parochial and obscurantist 
attitudes, persist in living in a world of illusion. Someone, because 
he has to toe the Congress Party line, protests that Hindi is spread- 
ing in the non-Hindi States. Practically the next day the Mysore 
Education Minister states that while Hindi might be studied in 
Mysore, even if a student gets a cipher it would not affect cither his 
progress or his grade in educational institutions! 

On our way from Madras to Bangalore, on the 20th December, 



POST- INDEPENDENCE B tTITES 


323 


1967, our train was held up at Perambur. Fortunately, the 
students were not in an unduly violent mood. They satisfied them- 
selves by defacing all the Hindi signs on the train and compart- 
ments and by making everyone, including our servants, who are 
Hindi-speaking, shout, 'Hindi, Down Down'. 

The Hindi chauvinists have only themselves to blame for the 
sheer hatred for Hindi that is now building up like a blank wall over 
the South despite anodyne remarks from those who deny this posi- 
tion. The Hindi chauvinists have traded in Hate and it is axiomatic 
that Hate begets Hate. The ‘Angrezi Hatao’ movement is now 
coming home to roost, in an ever-widening ‘Hindi Hatao’ movement. 
After I had presided at the annual prize day of the Frank Anthony 
Public School, Bangalore, several South-lndian parents explained 
their difficulties to me. Not only Tamil and Telugu speaking 
parents, but parents from Mysore were distressed by this Hate 
psychology that had affected their children. As the boys grow older 
they refuse to learn Hindi, or if they are made to study Hindi, as 
part of the three-language formula, the psychological resistance 
closes their minds to its reception. Another parent from Mysore 
mentioned to me that before the Hindi chauvinists’ Hate campaign 
against English there were about 40 classes run by voluntary organis- 
ations in Bangalore for teaching those who wanted to study Hindi. 
According to this parent those classes have been dosed down because 
of the Hate motive propagated by the Hindi fanatics and which has 
now recoiled against Hindi. 

Latest Developments — A National Disaster 

Increasingly TrigunaSen, the newly appointed Education Minister, 
has proved not only a disaster but a dangerous disaster for education 
and unity in the Country. A novice in public affairs, that he should 
have been put in charge of the education portfolio at a critical junc- 
ture was a major national tragedy; wittingly or unwittingly, he has 
played the Hindi chauvinist game. 

As a member of the Kothari Education Commission, Triguna Sen 
had embraced with alacrity the vital recommendations for continu- 
ing English as the fink language for academic and intellectual inter- 
communication and In the all-India Institutes and the major univer- 
sities. The Commission had worked for 21 months, took evidence 
on a massive scale and returned a massive report, to which Triguna 



324 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COJOfUNITT 

Sen was an eager co-signatory. It is not known whether Triguna 
Sen is an academician or only a highly qualified engineer. Be that 
as it may, presumably in his educational capacity he solemnly sub- 
scribed his signature to the report of the Kothari Education Com- 
mission. Then, presumably in his political capacity in a different 
milieu, presumably with a different inspiration, .as Chairman of the 
Parliamentary Committee which made its report in July, 1967, 
blandly and cavalierly, he turned his back on every vital recommen- 
dation to which he had subscribed his signature as a member of the 
Kothari Education Commission. He entered no demur. In fact, 
he embraced with alacrity, as the Chairman of a political committee, 
as a novitiate politician, the dead-line of 5 years for the change- 
over at all levels to the regional languages as the media. As I men- 
tioned when speaking in Parliament in November, 1967, on the 
Kodiari Education Commission report, Triguna Sen should have 
been aware of the fact that this dead-line of 5 years was not 
only an exercise in irresponsibility but an exercise in absurdity. 
Triguna Sen seemed to believe that by some process of educational 
alchemy, all the necessary books not only at the under-graduate 
level but at the graduate, the post-graduate and research levels, 
in the various regional languages, would be forthcoming. 

The U.P. Minister of Education when asked as to how he could 
produce the necessary books, admitted that the Central Committee 
on Scientific and Technological terminology had listed 940 standard 
works for the humanities and 395 for science and technology. He 
was asked how many of them his State had translated into Hindi. He 
said, “None”, but added, “What does it matter? We have got some 
at the under-graduate level, but none of these minimum standard 
works either at the graduate or at the post-graduate level.” Then 
he went on, “But what is the difficulty? I shall produce a committee 
of three, one senior teacher in Hindi, one junior teacher in Hindi 
and one pundit in Hindi, and in 5 years we shall have the trans- 
lations we need for post-graduate and research work.” 

Commenting on this, in my speech in Parliament, I posed the 
rhetorical question whether this attitude should not make the 
nation weep ! 

When the Bihar Education Minister was asked for his reaction to 
this question of translation, he said that for his State it would 
mean having to indulge in fantastic expenditure. In Bihar they 



POST-INUETENDENCE BATTLES 


325 


spent about Rs. 20 crores, but whether the translations would be 
acceptable or not was a different matter. He said that if they pro- 
ceeded with this exercise of translations the bill would go up to Rs. 
100 crores. 

In my speech I pointed out that Trigtma Sen’s antics had produc- 
ed disastrous results. His statements as Chairman of the Parlia- 
mentary Committee had given a handle to the Hindi States, al- 
though they did not need a handle or an excuse. They quoted him 
as the authority for seeking to outlaw English. Not only was 
Triguna Sen responsible for producing fatal fixations on regional 
lines, he was responsible for having killed and buried the three- 
language formula. One of the few sensible things that emerged from 
his utterances was his recommendation of a two-language formula; 
but under pressure, the new-found politician, promptly withdrew 
that recommendation. Although very new to politics he appears 
to have learned quickly the technique of the political acrobat and 
the chameleon. Having been primarily responsible for killing the 
three-language formula in the Hindi States, be is now making 
drivelling appeals to the non-Hindi States and also to the Hindi 
States to adopt the three-language formula. 

Dr. Lakshmanaswarni Mudaliar, Vice-Chancellor of Madras 
University, speaking at a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of 
Education held at Nov Delhi in August, 1967, revealed yet another 
face of Triguna Sen. He mentioned that at a meeting presided over 
by Mr. Chagla, the then Education Minister, Dr. Sen, as a Vice- 
Chancellor, would not allow the discussion to proceed till a resolu- 
tion was passed that in all technical and professional institutions 
Englishmtistcontinue as the medium for as long as it was necessary I 

Chagla' s Resignation 

On August 31 , 1967, Mr. M.C. Chagla, then the Minister of Exter- 
nal Affairs, submitted his resignation from the Cabinet addressing 
the following letter to the Prime Minister. 

“My dear Prime Minister, 

There is one tenet which I have considered to be basic to my politi- 
cal philosophy, such as I have, and that is the maintenance of the 
unity of India which should override all other considerations. I 
regret that, in my opinion, the educational policy of the Government 
is likely to threaten, if not undermine, that unity. 



326 THE STORY or THE ANGIO-IXOIAX COMWSTTr 

I am all in favour of the development of Indian languages. I 
also accept the position that Hindi must ultimately replace Eng- 
lish and play the unifying role that English plays today. But I equal- 
ly strongly believe that the change-over from English to regional 
languages must be gradual and must not impair educational stand- 
ards and, in the process of the change-over, till Hindi takes the field, 
the teaching of English should be strengthened and not allowed to 
recede into obscurity. Even after English ceases to be a link langu- 
age, it will have to continue as an international language which will 
help us to keep our contacts abroad. 

The time limit proposed to be set for the change-over in the 
universities of five years for undergraduate studies and ten years for 
all stages is hopelessly unpracticable and unrealistic. 

Some of the languages mentioned in the VII I ih Schedule of the 
Constitution are highly developed, others are not. Even the former 
have not got the necessary literature nor the teachers trained to lec- 
ture in these languages. 

It is said that a crash programme of translation will fill up this 
gap. I disagree. It is not through translation but original work 
that a language is developed. And original works cannot be pro- 
duced overnight. The Education Commission points out that care- 
ful preparation should be made for the purpose, and both the manner 
and the time of transition would have to be left for decision to the 
university system. 

The motto of every university should be to work for excellence 
and not be a mere factory for the production or graduates. And I 
dread to think what will happen to excellence if teachers are asked 
to lecture in a language in which they are not proficient and with 
the help of shoddy books hastily produced to order. 

What will happen to students whose mother-tongue is different 
from the regional language? In many cities you have different 
media of instruction to cater for a multi-lingual society. They will 
be practically shut out from universities of the State which will be 
teaching in the regional language. No thought has been given to 
this serious problem. 

What will happen to teachers who are not conversant with the 
regional language? Most universities recruit professors on an all- 
India basis and make use of the best talent available. Are these 
professors to be turned out? And do we, after five years, make our 



posT-rs’onprNDcscs battles 


327 


universities purely regional with students only from the State and 
cease to employ teachers outside its boundaries? 

I must also point out the harm that an early and unprepared 
switch-over to regional languages will do to the study of science and 
technology. 

Tliis is a scientific and technological age and the horizon of 
knowledge is expanding at an incredible pace. One can at least 
translate text-books in the humanities, but in science, apart from the 
text-books, the student lias to keep pace with new discoveries, and 
this he can only do if he is familiar with the large number of scienti- 
fic journals which arc at present only published in English or other 
European languages. 

Therefore, as far as science is concerned, even the translation of 
text-books will not solve the problem. 

A large body of scientific scholars must grow up who will be 
publishing their researches in journals and magazines which will be 
available to universities. This is a long and laborious process and 
must take a very long time. Therefore, a sudden change-over from 
English to the regional languages must result in a precipitous lower- 
ing of standard!, more particularly in the field of science, where, if 
wc wish to industrialise our country and transform its economy, we 
need the work and co-operation of our best scientific and our bese 
research scholars. 

But I would rather deal with the threat to our unity. English , 
whether we like it or not, has brought about administrative, acade- 
mic and judicial unity. If Hindi takes its place, no one would be 
more happy than I. But with the strong feelings prevailing in the 
south, this cannot be achieved till it has been persuaded to accept 
the official language indicated in the Constitution. 

But, in the meantime, irreparable damage would have been 
done. The inter-regional linguistic bond which contributes so 
much towards our unity will have been snapped. Mobility of pro- 
fessors and students will become impossible. Administration in the 
Centre and Centre-State relations will all receive a severe jolt from 
this policy. 

I have nightmarish visions of interpreters being needed in a high- 
powered conference to interpret what one Indian is saying to an- 
other. 

This is why the Education Commission has proposed that in 



328 the stort or the ahclo-kdias community 

major universities it will be necessary as a rule to adopt English as 
the medium of education because their students and teachers will be 
drawn on an all-India basis. 

It might be said that as External Aflairs Minister I have noth 
ing to do with education. But I believe in collective responsibility 
and I am as much responsible for the education policy of Govern- 
ment as my friend. Dr. Sen. 

I do not like to remain in the Government and criticise its policy. 
That would be disloyalty. I want to be free to express my opinion. 
I, therefore, hereby tender my resignation as a member of the 
Government. 

Parting is always sad and I am sorry to part company with you 
and my colleagues. I only wish I was leaving in happier circums- 
tances. 

I strongly feel that the steps we are taking are irreversible. In 
most matters. Government policy, if mistaken, can be corrected. In 
education it cannot be. It aiTccts millions of our people and a whole 
generation may suiter because we arc more concerned with our 
present difficulues and pressures and do not look sufliciently ahead 
into the future. 

I hope you will permit me to release this letter to the press.** 
(Letter Ends) 

Culpable Ambivalence 

The Government was culpably ambivalent on this question of 
regional languages as the media. In an efTort to deery, if not dis- 
credit, Chngla it was implied that his resignation was premature as 
allegedly no decision had been taken by the Cabinet. This hardly 
squared with the facts or the circumstantial evidence. 

I had been informed that the Cabinet was to meet and discuss this 
specific question of media. I met the Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira 
Gandhi, shortly after the Cabinet meeting on the 7th August, 1967. 
I was accompanied by Barrow, my colleague in Parliament. During 
our discussions there was no suggestion that a decision had not 
been taken. It became clear, during the discussions, that the 
Government had accepted the policy of the regional languages as 
the media in higher education. The only question that remained 
open seems to have been the length of time in which this change 
would be effected. 



POST-IN'DCTENDEXCE BATTLES 


329 


After meeting the Prime Minister, I met several members of the 
Cabinet who confirmed that the decision had been made, however 
much some of them had disagreed. 

On being questioned by the press as to my reaction on Chagla’s 
resignation, I said, “That it symbolised a tragedy for the Country as it 
underlined the utter helplessness of members of the Cabinet with a 
sense of sanity and vision in the face of Hindi chauvinism of which 
the Central Government was now completely a prisoner." The 
Deputy Prime Minister, Morarji Desai, when questioned by news- 
paper men during his extensive foreign tour, sneered that Chagla’s 
resignation would not affect the Government. Admittedly Chagla 
did not have what is, today, rated as the most valuable asset among 
politicians: in the generally muddied waters of politics, today, 
rating depends not on the capacity or character of a person but on 
the strength of the group or clique that he can command. A 
premium is now placed on the capacity for intrigue, manoeuvering 
and the manipulation of groups or cliques. 

Pleas For Sanity 

Meanwhile, watching with increasing distress the almost cavalier 
manner in which the Hindi chauvinists and their prisoners in the 
Government were giving irrevocable hostages to disintegration, 
eminent Indians in various walks of life entered a plea for sanity and 
vision. 

On September 10, 1967, the Medical Council of India adopted 
the following resolution. 

"In order to maintain uniform standards in under-graduate 
and post-graduate medical education throughout the country 
and to utilize fully the world literature in teaching, patient care 
and research, the Medical Council of India is of the opinion that 
English should continue till such time as a link language with 
adequate scientific literature is fully developed to replace it.” 

The resolution W3s forwarded to the Prime Minister, all the State 
Governments, Universities and the Planning Commission. 

On December 5, 1967, the Council of the Institute of Engineers 
(India) at its meeting held in Poona adopted the following resolu- 



330 


THE STORY Or THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


“This 451st Meeting of the Council of Institution of Engi- 
neers (India) held at Poona on 5-12-1967, having given very 
careful thought to the problem of technical education in the 
Country, and having regard to the importance of effective com- 
munication between Engineers and Technologists of the vari- 
ous regions of the country, and to mobility of engineers, teachers 
and the students between them, and with a view to keeping 
abreast of the progress in other countries has unanimously re- 
solved as under 1 

\1) English should continue to be the medium of instruction 
at the graduate and post-graduate level in engineering 
technological Faculties. 

(2) The regional language may be adopted for education up to 
Polytechnic level with a view to better comprehension by 
the students and also belter and wider diffusion of techni- 
cal knowledge in the masses. 

(3) English should be a compulsory language when regional 
languages arc used as media of instruction at Polytechnic 
level. 

(4) International English terminology with numerals, signs 
and symbols in Roman and Arabic scripts shall be adopt- 
ed in all technical education. 

(5) English shall continue to be the medium for all examina- 
tions of the Institution of Engineers. 

(6) At Secondary Schools the three-language formula should 
be adopted to include the regional language, Hindi and 
English so that Item Nos. 1 and 2 above can be effective- 
ly implemented.” 

Finally, the Bar Council or India, at about the same time, adopted 
the following resolution. 

“The B^r Council of India, concerned as it is with secur- 
ing adequate lifgal education, recognition of degrees in law con- 
ferred by universities in this country, ensuring high standards 
of professional cWnpctencc and with the maintenance of an 
effective all-India oSar; 

“Deprecates proposals to switchover to the compulsory use 
of regional languages\jn the High Courts and in Universities, 



roST-lNDRTtXDEXCE BATTLES 531 

and call* attention to some of the disastrous consequences of a 
hasty switch-over.” 

"This Council is of the opinion that deep study and felicity 
in the use of one common language are vital to the exjjtrnce of 
an all-India Judicial cadre, the Suprrme Court and a competent 
all-India Bar, each of which is in turn indispensable to national 
integration.” 

Afadras language Convention 

On the 4th and 5th November, 1967, a historic language conven- 
tion was held in Madras City. The venue was the magnificent new 
auditorium of the Madras University. About 3000 delegates from 
every part of the Country and from practically every State had taken 
the trouble to attend. The auditorium of the Madras University 
has accommodation for 5000 persons and was packed to capacity. 
This was in spite of the fact that the organisers only permitted a 
1000 passes for students. 

Mr. K. Subba Rao, retired Chief Justice of India, inaugurated the 
Convention and Dr. A. Ramaswami Mudaliar presided, I was in- 
vited to attend and was among the principal speakers. 

Inaugurating the Convention, Subba Rao said that the language 
problem should be left to be solved by the coming generation 
and that the status quo should be maintained until a consensus solu- 
tion was found. Subba Rao warned that any attempt "To force 
Hindi down the throats of unwilling people will certainly lead to the 
disintegration or the Country." "The best course”, he said, "is to 
have the status quo and to continue English as the official language 
and also as the medium of instruction in colleges.” 

If Hindi was accepted as the official language, he felt the Official 
Languages Act ought to be amended to ensure that English was con- 
tinued till all the States agreed to the change-over. 

Subba Rao underlined that English must continue to be the sole 
language of the Supreme Court and the High Courts and that it 
should be the medium of instruction in professional colleges, research 
courses and post-graduate studies. 

Continuing he said, “Replacing English by regional languages as 
a medium of instruction at the university level is a delicate and diffi- 
cult task and its phasing and steps should be left entirely to expert 
educationists." 



332 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Subba Rao felt that the States should make sincere attempts to 
encourage scholars to conduct journals and write books on various 
subjects in the regional languages. It was not enough, he said, to 
have an idea; it must be pursued with vigour. 

Opposing the three-language formula, Subba Rao said that “It 
worked unevenly on the people of different States, besides burdening 
the child with unnecessary languages at the expense of knowledge. 
The illogicality of the three-language formula imposition will be 
apparent if a person in a Hindi region is compelled to take one of the 
languages other than Hindi and English.” 

He stated, that “A boy with a flair for languages may learn many, 
but that is an unnecessary burden both to an average and also to a 
bright one who had no aptitude for languages.” 

At the University level, Subba Rao said, there must be bilinguism — 
English and the regional language, the first for professional colleges 
and for science subjects and the latter for the humanities. He conti- 
nued that in the demand for the replacement of English by Hindi as 
the official language and for all other purposes he saw the only reason 
for the whipped-up agitation for a quick change-over was a sense 
of false prestige and an inferiority complex. 

“This propaganda”, he said, “may have had a sentimental appeal 
during our freedom struggle, but after Independence it has none. 
We must behave like a mature nation and enlightened self-interest, 
here or elsewhere, should be our guide.” He added, “We must 
eschew the bad and retain the good, irrespective of its source, foreign 
or indigenous. English is one of such good things.” 

Pandit Hirdaynath Kunzru said that to a certain extent it might 
be true that education was best imparted through the mother- 
tongue, but education only had value if it brought the students in 
touch with the people and the world for which English was necessary. 
Even subjects like economics, politics and sociology could not be 
properly discussed in isolation from the rest of the world. Hirday- 
nath Kunzru said that the Union Education Minister, before he left 
for Moscow, stated that he was not against the retention of English 
at the University level. If Dr. Sen had mentioned this from the 
very beginning, they would have been spared the trouble of having 
this Convention. Dr. Kunzru said that the Convention should 
arouse the intelligentsia of the Country to the dangers of isolation 
from the world. They should stand up and prevent the Country 



rOST-IXOEFENBQECE BATTLES 333 

from reverting to a situation from which Raja Rammoiian Roy had 
rescued it 150 yean ago. He reminded the Convention how Raja 
Rammohan Roy had fought against the then existing system of edu- 
cation (1816) and demanded a liberal education in English. 

I do not propose to reproduce my speech as I addressed the Con- 
vention for some considerable time. Among the main points made 
by me was that, because of the political overtones and the increas- 
ing political pressure by the dominant Hindi bloc in Parliament, an 
objective approach to educational problems and, indeed, to the 
larger interests of the Country' had become more and more difficult. 
I said that the mother-tongue theory necessarily had an emotional 
appeal, but in the context of a polyglot country it cannot have uni- 
form significance or validity. Where over 350 million people can- 
hot read or write a single language and where, according to a con- 
servative estimate, there are 179 languages and 544 dialects, it is 
unreal to talk of acquiring knowledge through the mother-tongue 
which may be little more than a dialect and with not even the most 
elementary primers or books in any discipline. I said that even 
after the linguistic re-distribution of the States, the different regions 
were anything but unilinguat : the imposition of the regional langu- 
ages as media would, therefore, mean denial of the mother-tongue 
to millions of people. 

I stated that for several millions of Indians, English is the langu- 
age spoken in the home. At any one time there are between 4 and 
5 million students studying through the medium of English from the 
primary up to the university stage. This represented a very high 
percentage of those who have the opportunity for education. 

I underlined that there could be no rigidity about the mother- 
tongue as the medium. This position was underlined by conditions 
in States like Assam, Nagaland and the Hill-tribe areas where, in 
order to make education meaningful, English had been adopted as 
the medium of instruction not only for higher education but at the 
school stage. 

I said that English-medium schools represented the only all- 
India system of secondary education in the Country. It is to these 
institutions alone that the children of members of the armed forces 
and government servants, who are liable to transfer, can look for 
the continuity of their education. 

I said that from the legal and constitutional position any Indian 



33 1 THE STORT OP THE AMGcO-OiDIAN COSDtUNTTT 

would have as much right to start an English-medium school as to 
start a Hindi-medium school. In fact, for several reasons, the right 
is stronger. Unlike Hindi, English gives access to the widest hori- 
zons of knowledge : unlike Hindi, English gives access to the highest 
reaches of professional and technical attainment : and, unlike Hindi, 
English is an all-India language with adequately trained teachers 
available everywhere to teach the different subjects through the 
medium of English. 

I pointed out that, as held by the Supreme Court, English is as 
much an Indian language as any other language of the Country be- 
cause it is the language of a recognised Indian minority, the Anglo- 
Indians. Recently, Nagaland aflirmed its adoption of English as 
its official language, thus giving English parity with other regional 
languages. In a sense, English has a superior status in law to the 
regional languages in the VIHth Schedule, because it is not only the 
associate official language but also the language of the Constitution, 
of the Supreme Court and High Courts and of authoritative legisla- 
tion. 

I mentioned that in any democracy, especially in India with its 
bewildering polyglot structure, liberty of thought and expression 
was the most precious of the fundamental rights. The parent has 
the fundamental right to determine the kind of education he wants 
for his child. It has been held by the Supreme Court that the child 
is not the creature of the State and that those who nurture him and 
direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the duty, to prepare 
him for his obligations in life. To preserve the secular concept, there 
are several provisions in the Constitution underlining the right of a 
child belonging to any language group to go to any institution either 
run or aided by the State, whatever the medium may be. One of 
the fundamental freedoms of our Constitution is that of speech and 
expression : freedom of expression would include the freedom to im- 
bibe thought and culture through any medium. Any attempt by 
the Hindi chauvinists to discriminate against English would also 
offend Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution which guarantee 
equality of treatment and opportunity. 

I said that de facto English is the link language, today, In higher 
education. Hindi has, in fact, no place and can never have any 
place because of its complete lack of an elementary corpus of books 
and of knowledge. Given the option, even in the Hindi States the 



POST- INDEPENDENCE BATTLES 


335 


overwhelming number of students have opted for English at the Uni- 
versity stage. English is, in feet, today the only all-India language, 
at any rate in higher education. Apart from being the only cement, 
administrative and judicial, it is par excellence the only bond of 
educational and, indeed, emotional integration. 

On the second day of the Convention, Dr. C.D. Dcshmukh, then 
Vice-Chancellor of the Delhi University and a former Chairman 
of the University Grants Commission, proposed the adoption of 
"Bhasha Bharati” written in the Roman script, suitably provided 
with additional diacritical marks and written in one tier instead of 
three to avoid wastage. Dr. Dcshmukh said that the nation's in- 
terests demanded that they did not weaken the grasp of English 
which would be the only international language to help them achieve 
the delayed objective of developing their regional languages. Dcsh- 
mukh said that English was the only adequate medium of communi- 
cation at the intellectual level. Hindi could not be thought of in 
this context, being no better developed than the other regional langu- 
ages, perhaps worse. In his view Hindi had not yet developed as 
an all-India language and the Country's interests required that Eng- 
lish be continued as an associate language for an indefinite period 
both at the Central and the State levels. 

Dcshmukh felt that there was some truth in the almost universal 
proposition that the Indian languages had not yet developed a 
‘‘literature of knowledge". It was surprising that despite significant 
works by scholars over the last 100 years, Indian languages had not 
produced a "literature of knowledge”. India could not depend 
upon translations forever. 

Rajaji, still going strong at 89, addressed the Convention at 4 
p.m. on the second day. Rajaji cautioned that the battle against 
Hindi imposition would be a long one. He said that the battle 
would not be easy because the Central Government had secured a 
strong army behind it for its wrong policy. From his knowledge 
of people in the North, they would fight hard for Hindi. 

Rajaji said that the fight should not be through direct action, but 
by exposition of the truth in the best manner. They could not fight 
the batde with hesitating steps. Rajaji wanted everyone to pledge 
to fight to keep English in its present position. 

Rajaji said that those who had Hindi as their mother-tongue did 
not understand the full implications of what they were trying to do. 



336 THE STORE OP THE ANGI.O- INDIAN COMMUNITT 

They thought that just as they learnt English, the Tamils could and 
would one day learn Hindi. But Hindi was a totally foreign langu- 
age to the Tamils. 

Rajaji reiterated that higher education in technology and the 
sciences should continue to be in English not only because English 
had attained international status, but because the whole country 
wanted it. He said to those who wanted the regional languages to 
be introduced, “By all means use them as far as you can. But do not 
object to English being the medium of instruction for higher studies 
and for the library.” 

Rajaji warned that making the regional languages the media of 
higher education would ruin the Country. India would cease to be 
one Country : it would become an archipelago or isolated islands in 
a turbulent ocean. He asked the politicians not to interfere with 
students, even as the latter should not interfere with politics. 

Government Exercise In Illusion 

On the 17th of July, 1968, the Cabinet was reported to have ap- 
proved of a national policy statement on education. Much of the 
old wishful thinking, the pious and, indeed, dangerous illusions are 
to be found in this statement. Thus there is the illusory hope of a 
vigorous implementation of the three-language formula at the se- 
condary stage. As I have mentioned earlier, one of the somersaults 
of Triguna Sen encouraged the Hindi States to adopt a one-langu- 
age formula. In reply Tamil Nadu banished Hindi. In most of the 
States the three-language formula is largely a hypocritical, lip-service 
offering. In States like Mysore, a student may get a blob in Hindi 
as the second or the third language : it docs not interfere in the least 
with the promotion or, indeed, the class secured. The Anglo-Indian 
schools are among the very few that honestly implement the three 
language formula. Not only the promotion but the grading, in the 
Anglo-Indian schools, depends on the marks secured in Hindi, if it is 
the second language. 

The so-called national policy statement also contains the illusion 
of developing Hindi as the link language. There is the continuing 
failure to distinguish between Hindi as the official language and as 
the link language in higher education and in the higher judicial 
echelons. In spite of all the dangerous self-deception that dogs a 
Hindi-ridden Central Government, there is not the remotest possibi- 



J-OST-INDETENDENCE B VITUS 


337 


lity, in any foreseeable future, of Hindi ever being adopted by the 
non-Hindi States as the medium in higher education. The adoption of 
Hindi as the language of the High Courts is an equally wild illusion. 

The only glimmering of commonsense that appears through this 
statement is that, at least, the exercise in absurdity of prescribing a 
time-limit of 5 to 10 years, for the change-over to the regional langu- 
ages as the media at the University stage, has been abandoned. 
There is the usual tongue-in-the-cheek offering to the need for conti- 
nuing emphasis on the study of English. But no one in the Govern- 
ment seems to have either the courage, the vision or, indeed, the 
commonsense to state frankly that without the continuance of Eng- 
lish as the medium in the higher reaches of education, especially in 
science, technology and research, India will leap back into the bul- 
lock-cart age, apart from disintegrating educationally, politically 
and emotionally. 

Increasing Breach Of Faith 

As 1 had anticipated, when characterising the amendment to the 
Official Languages Act and the accompanying resolution as a conti- 
nuing travesty of the Nehru assurance, the Hindi fanatics in the Cen- 
tral Government and in the offices of the Central Ministries are go- 
ing ahead with the progressive imposition of Hindi. I had pointed 
out in my speech in Parliament that the Act, despite the amendment, 
and more especially the resolution, contained all the instruments for 
the rapid and, indeed, blanket imposition of Hindi. That is now 
happening. According to a press report of the 7th October, 1968, 
the Government has issued to the various Ministries and Central 
organisations directives which ensure the progressive imposition 
of Hindi. Even the anaemic provision for a translation in English 
will not be operative svhene the staff concerned, both in the originat- 
ing and the receiving Ministries, have acquired a working knowledge 
or Hindi. With typical tortuousness, a working knowledge of Hindi 
has been equated to a pass in Hindi at the matriculation examina- 
tion or its Pragya equivalent in the Hindi teaching scheme, or in a 
departmental test. 

Some of the peons in my office have done not only their Matricula- 
tion but Intermediate through Hindi. This ignorant, semi-illiterate 
type xviVi now set the standards for drafting in the Central Adntinis- 
tration. 



338 THE STORE OP THE AXGLO-TXDIAN COJMUNmr 

With the fetish for fabricating statistics to show the alleged spread 
of Hindi, we can also expect a wholesale passing in the departmental 
tests of those who have not even reached the semi-illiterate standards 
of the Hindi Matriculate. 

According to this latest exercise in Hindi imposition madness, the 
noter will not be asked to provide a translation. The difficulty will 
be for the really educated government servants to supply transla- 
tions to the productions of these semi-illiterate neo-Hindi Matricul- 
ates and pseudo-Matriculates. 

If this madness persist, it will not be long before the Central Ad- 
ministration, already snarled by almost chronic inefficiency, delay 
and red-tapism, sinks to the cesspool level of the average Corpo- 
ration run through the medium of Hindi. 

Apart from anything else, this race for Hindi imposition is a deli- 
berate dishonouring of the repeated assurances of permanent bi- 
lingualism given to the deluded inferior citizens of Hindi India — the 
non-Hindi speaking majority, the new class of Untouchables. 

Latest Bitter Fruit 

On the 8th September, 1968, 1 addressed a meeting of the Heads 
of 30 Anglo-Indian Schools in the U.P. The Heads had met be- 
cause they were perturbed over the recent prospectus issued by the 
Lucknow University. 

This prospectus prescribes Hindi as the exclusive medium for the 
examination of 1971 onwards for the B.A. and B. Sc. (general classes) 
and from 1970 for the Faculty of Commerce. 

Apparently a similar prospectus has been adopted by the other 
Universities in the U.P. For the linguistic minorities this step is the 
latest bitter fruit of Hindi Imperialism. It is a brazen, contemptu- 
ous violation of the Supreme Court decision of 1962 in the Gujarat 
University case to which I have already referred. The principal 
ratio handed down by the Supreme Court was that neither a State 
Legislature nor a University had the power to prescribe either Hindi 
or Gujarati as the exclusive medium and, therefore, a fortiori had no 
power to outlaw English. This decision of the U.P. also deliberately 
ignores the recommendations of the Sampurnanand Emotional 
Integration Committee and the Kothari Education Commission. 
A reference has already been made to these recommendations. The 
Sampurnanand Emotional Integration Committee had, among other 



POST-INDEPENDENCE BATHES 339 

things, recommended that English would hare to be at least the 
additional medium to prevent academic fragmentation and to main- 
tain intellectual and, indeed, emotional integration. 

The Kotliari Education Commission has, among other things, 
recommended that in the All-India Institutes, major universities 
and colleges in the metropolitan areas English will have to continue 
as the medium to ensure the mobility of students and teachers and 
the maintenance of standards. 

In the U.P. where approximately 70,000 students are in the Eng- 
lish-medium schools, nearly 2000 pass out of these schools each year 
and the majority seek entry into the U.P. Universities. There 
are also several colleges which have English as the medium of edu- 
cation. 

Apart from being flagrantly illegal and unconstitutional, this latest 
expression of Hindi chauvinism strikes a vicious blow at the linguis- 
tic minorities whose mother-tongue is other than Hindi. It will 
make it impossible for parents from other States residing in the U.P. 
to educate their children in the State. Apart from anything else, 
this policy is a deliberate dishonouring of the Nehru formula of 
bilingualism. 

The Hindi States are already the most backward in the Country, 
having the highest incidence of illiteracy and the lowest incidence 
of performance in any field. This latest exercise in obscurantism 
will ensure that the Hindi States will fall further into the rear. The 
students, already backward, will be cut off from institutions that 
give access to the highest reaches of attainment in science, tech- 
nology and research. In fact students from the U.P. will now be 
confined to a frog-in-the-well existence in their own State. Few, 
if any, of them will be employable in trade or industry outside 
the U.P. 

Fallacies Of Hindi Imperialism 

The Hindi Imperialists have perpetrated many fallacies in their 
attempts to justify the blanket imposition of Hindi. The most 
familiar argument is that it is repugnant to the self-respect of the 
Country to have a foreign language as the national language. In 
the first place, the Hindi chauvinists have increasingly perverted the 
position that was given to Hindi in the Constitution. Although the 
language issue rvas not a live issue during the framing of the Constitu- 



340 


THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

tion, there was considerable opposition to Hindi being accorded the 
place even of the official language. This opposition was especially 
marked in the Congress Party itself where the decision to makeHm 
the Official language just scraped through. 

In any event, the framers of the Constitution deliberately scouted 
the idea of Hindi being the national language. It was realised that 
in the bewildering multilingual Indian context, there could not be a 
single national language especially as many or the other Indian 
languages, such as Tamil and Bengali, were much older, much richer 
and infinitely better developed than Hindi. All that was inten e 
under the Constitution was to have an official language which would 
be used for official purposes of the Union and for certain limited 
purposes, such as Inter-State communication. 

But having got Hindi into the Constitution as the official language, 
the appetite of the Hindi chauvinists has grown with feeding.^ Im- 
mediately they set up the cry of the Raslitriya Bhasha, that is, the 
national language, which was never contemplated by the Constitu- 
tion. In their efforts to mollify the other principal regional langu- 
ages, the device of referring to the languages in the VUIth Schedu e 
as national languages was adopted. It was conveniently forgotten 
that once the designation of national was adopted in respect of langu- 
ages, it would necessarily postulate that the regions in which these 
are current represent a congeries of national entities. Once Hindi 
could be described as the national language, it would immediately 
give a handle to the Hindi chauvinists, at the Centre and the Hindi 
States, to seek to impose Hindi on the Country in all the connota- 
tions of the word national. 

There is a vast difference between an official and a national langu- 
age. Several countries while having their respective national langu- 
ages have, for many reasons, accepted English as their official langu- 
age. Thus, Ghana has both a national language and English as the 
official language. The fiercely proud Irish, despite their bitter and 
bloody struggle with the British, made English their official langu- 
age and Gaelic the national language. 

There is not the remotest whisper of a suggestion in the Constitu- 
tion that Hindi should be the link language in higher education. I* 
is not the link language in higher education even in the Hindi States. 
Deliberately, the Constitution had excluded Hindi as the link langu- 
age in the judicial sphere. Thus, Article 348 draws a clear distinc- 


POST-INDEPENDENCE BATTLES 


341 


tion between Hindi aj the official language and the language to be 
used in the judgments of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, 
in their proceedings, and as the authoritative texts of bills, acts, and 
of all orders, rules, regulations and bye-laws. There is no prescrip- 
tion of time, as regards the use of English and there is no hint of Hindi 
being the language of the Supreme Court and the High Courts or 
supplying the authoritative texts in respect of legislation at the Centre 
and in the States. Article 313 (3) goes even further : it provides 
that even where the Legislature of a State has prescribed any langu- 
age other than the English language for use in Bills introduced in or 
Acts passed by the Legislature of the State or in Ordinances pro- 
mulgated by the Governor or in any order, rule, regulation or bye- 
law issued under the Constitution by the Legislature, a translation in 
the English language of the same shall be deemed to be the authori- 
tative text thereof. This was an inevitable corollary to the position 
recognised by the framers of the Constitution, that an amorphous, 
undeveloped language, like Hindi, without any scientific or legal 
vocabulary just could not be drawn upon to supply the authorita- 
tive text for legislation. 

The position with regard to institutions of higher education and 
research and the scientific and technical institutions has also been 
settled by the Supreme Court in the Gujarat University case already 
referred to. The co-ordination and determination of standards in 
these institutions is vested exclusively in Parliament, under entry 6G 
of List 1 , that is, the Union List. The sole instrument of co-ordina- 
tion is the English language. The Supreme Court recognised this 
in the Gujarat University case and struck down the attempt by the 
Legislature and the University of Gujarat to introduce either Hindi 
or Gujarad as the exclusive medium. In the Supreme Court decisiorf 
there is the explicit recognition of the fact that the maintenance and 
co-ordination of standards in higher education can be achieved only 
through the English language. 

Hindi More Foreign Than English 
While trying to stigmatise English as a foreign language, the Hindi 
fanatics have forgotten that in the non-Hindi speaking regions, 
especially in States like Tamil Nadu, Hindi is infinitely more foreign 
than English. As a result of 200 years of acclimatization English 
has permeated evenly not only the educated but the uneducated 



342 THE STOUT or THE ANGLO- INDIAN COMMCNITT 

pattern. The Hindi obscurantists have yet to Icam the elementary 
fact that a language has no nationality : it belongs to the people "ho 
use it and have made it their own. English has become part of the 
warp and woof of the texture of Indian thought, education and, in- 
deed, culture. The Supreme Court has now placed its imprimatur 
on the position that English is as much an Indian language as any 
other of the languages of India, as it is the language of a recognised 
minority, the Anglo-Indians. In fact, English has a position 
superior to any of the languages mentioned in the VHIth Schedule 
because, as I have already mentioned, it is the language of the Con- 
stitution, the language of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, 
and the language of authoritative legislation. 

Since English was adopted by Nagaland, in September, 1967, as 
its official language, English has also become a regional language, a 
position not occupied by several of the languages included in the 
VHIth Schedule. 

At any one time there are between 4 and 5 million students 
pursuing their education through the medium of English from the 
primary to the university stage. As I mentioned in one of my 
speeches in Parliament, the total number of literates in Hindi, 
throughout the Hindi area, is barely 3 million. In spite of the 
fact that the linguistic census is usually doctored in order to project 
an exaggerated image in favour of Hindi, the 1961 Census shows that 
English is the most largely known second language. More than 
1 1 million have shown English as their second language, whereas 
barely 9 million were listed with Hindi as their subsidiary language : 
this was in spite of the fact that Hindi was enforced as a compulsory 
second language in many of the non-Hindi States. 

English is not only an Indian language but a world language 
which, unlike Hindi, gives access to the world horizons of know- 
ledge, progress and achievement. It was through English that 
Indians became aware of their history. It was, in fact, through 
English that India achieved both an intellectual and educational 
renaissance. It was contact with the English language that impart- 
ed to Indian leaders and thinkers the spirit of freedom and liberty 
that informs British history and literature. It was the English 
language that enabled the leaders of Indian thought and action to 
meet together and forge policies and programmes for unity of action 
and for achieving freedom. It was through the English language 



POST- IK'D EJTNDENCE DATTTKS 343 

that Indian writers were able to interpret not only the ethos of India’s 
freedom movement hut the Indian ethos to the outside world. It 
was through English that India jumped from mediaevalism into the 
modem age. 

As observed by Prof. Pandit, Head of the Department of Linguis- 
tics of the Delhi University, “This notion of language rivalry — un- 
less the richer language disappears, the poorer one will not ‘get a 
chance’ — has clouded much of our thinking on language. Our goal 
in the education system should be not to remove English from the 
system but to ensure that once a discourse in Indian languages be- 
gins, it will gain momentum only by interaction with English, 
Knowledge or English and not its absence is a precondition for the 
development of Indian languages.” Prof Pandit further observes, 
“Our languages, which had only a belles-lettres tradition and which 
did not have any traditions of scientific and serious prose, have 
acquired newer expressions and traditions under the constant influ- 
ence of bilingualism with English. This is a major factor in the 
‘development’ of Indian languages. This could happen because sve 
have had genuine bilingual authors and speakers like Mahatma 
Gandhi, Tagore, Rajajt and almost all the late I9th century members 
of our intelligentsia, who believed in sharing their experience with 
the people by way of an autobiography or diary if nothing else,” 

Greatest Canard 

Not only one of the greatest fallacies, but one of the greatest 
canards perpetrated in Republican India is that 42 per cent of the 
people are Hindi-speaking. This is a deliberate fabrication. The 
1951 census was obviously inflated to give a deliberately false 
picture. That census shamelessly included the figures for no less 
than 77 languages and dialects which had nothing to do with 
Hindi. Thus the figure for Urdu, Punjabi, Rajasthani and a host 
ofother languages and dialects had been falsely included in the Hindi 
census. Equally, the 1951 census had been doctored to deflate the 
number of the English-speaking persons : only those were included 
whose mother-tongue was English so that there was the egregious 
figure of 171,000 shown as English-speaking. This did not even 
represent the number of Anglo-Indians whose mother-tongue is 
English. At any one time there are about 4 to 5 million students 
studying through the medium of English. Yet deliberately the 



STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 


1951 census was fabricated to exclude all these people even as 
English-knowing. 

No Tradition 

Even in the Hindi States barely half per cent of the population 
understand the new Hindi with its artificial monstrosities and re- 
surrections from a dust-bin of dead words created by self-styled 
literati and self-appointed lexicographers in their frenetic attempts 
to enlarge the poverty-stricken Hindi vocabulary. As pointed out 
by Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, the famous Indologist, the Hindi 
sought to be evolved today is ‘Khari Boli Hindi’ which had no 
existence prior to 1850. As pointed out by another distinguished 
Indian, Hindi has no political or administrative tradition. Through 
out Indian history it has never been the language of a State because 
there has never been a Hindi State. Today, the Hindi chauvinists 
are seeking, artificially, to create a Hindi language and a also Hindi 
Empire of their dreams. It is a delirious illusion of the Hindi Im- 
perialists that the non-Hindi speaking people, especially the Tamils 
and Bengalis with their ancient, rich literary traditions and with 
their highly developed, dynamic languages, will ever enthuse over 
a new, undeveloped foreign language sought to be imposed on them. 

Instrument Of Isolation 

Another fallacy of Hindi Imperialism is that Hindi is an instru- 
ment of mass contact. The official language of a multilingual 
Country and especially of the Central Government can never be an 
instrument of mass contact with the people throughout the Country. 
The regional languages alone can, in their respective areas, be such 
instruments. Even in the Hindi-speaking States the new Hindi is 
unintelligible to the masses. In any case it is pretentious nonsense 
to talk of Hindi as a mass medium where over 350 million people 
cannot read or write a single language in a country which accord- 
ing to a conservative estimate has 179 languages and 544 dialects and 
patois. The new artificial Hindi is a supreme instrument of isolation. 

Hindi is, in fact, an undeveloped regional language. The Hindi 
region is, in fact, a fraction of the Country and tucked away in one 
part. Hindi Imperialism means not only the imposition of the 
language of a small minority but also the imposition of an undeve- 
loped regional language, v 



rOST-INDCTENDEXCE S VCTtES 345 

Hindi Imperialism's A [any Undesirable Symbols 

Hindi Imperialism is a symbol of many undesirable features. In 
Northern India Hindi is unashamedly identified with religion. 
Thus the revivalists in the North arc not interested only in the 
language but also in the imposition of their script. In the final 
anal) sis the genius and the spirit of a language have very little to 
do with the script. Yet the recommendation of the University 
Grants Commission and of the Sampumanand Emotional Integra- 
tion Committee that the non-Hindi speaking people should be en- 
couraged to learn Hindi through the Roman script is bitterly 
opposed. The motive is entirely religious. According to the North 
Indian revivalists the Devanagari script is identified with the 
religion of a particular section of the people, with their Shastras. 

For the linguistic minorities, Hindi Imperialism is a supreme sym- 
bol of oppression. The unashamed battle-cry of a well-known Hindi 
Imperialist movement is, "Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan, nahi rahege 
Sikh, Esai na Mussalman”, meaning "Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan, 
nor shall there be Sikhs, Christians or Mussahnaits.’* 

Discrimination 

Hindi Imperialism is the symbol, par excellence, of discrimina- 
tion. It is a symbol of the denial of equality of opportunity. It is 
significant that the Hindi-speaking States are the most backward 
in every respect. They have the highest incidence of illiteracy: 90 
per cent of the women and 80 per cent of the men are illiterate. As 
I have already mentioned, there are barely 3 million literates in the 
whole Hindi area. In the superior service competitions, candidates 
from the Hindi-speaking States make a pathetic showing. Because 
of the lack of a corpus or books and of knowledge in Hindi, graduates 
in Hindi emerge as pitiful ignoramuses. 

One of the principal objectives of Hindi Imperialism is to open the 
service floodgates to the educationally backward elements in the 
Hindi-speaking States. The Hindi bloc is putting unremitting pres- 
sure on the Government to have Hindi as the alternative medium 
for entry into the different services. A device suggested by the Hindi 
zealots to mislead the non-Hindi speaking section is the quota system 
for recruitment. If this ever materialises, it will mean for the Hindi 
States the largest intake in the services. They have the largest num- 
ber of illiterates. As mentioned in one of my speeches, whereas at 



346 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

present barely 2 to 3 per cent of the Hindi elements qualify in open 
competition for the Central services, on a quota system based on the 
counting of illiterate heads, they will insist on getting at least 40 
per cent. 

In another sense also Hindi is a symbol of discrimination. Today, 
the Central Government is committed to rapidly increasing expen- 
diture of crores of rupees for the so-called advancement of Hindi. 
It is difficult to understand why the money of the non-Hindi 
speaking taxpayers should be wasted in trying to develop, by a 
process of artificial respiration, an undeveloped language. If die 
Hindi zealots arc so desperately anxious to advance their language 
at least they should be prepared to meet the bill themselves. 

Destruction Of Pillars Of Integration 
Hindi Imperialism, today, is the symbol of the destruction of na- 
tional integration. The stark, if unpleasant, fact is that before the 
British regime the history of India was a history of tribalisms. As an 
eminent Indian has written, while there was a sense of Indianness 
there was never really a sense of Indian nationality. It was for the 
first time during the British regime that India achieved political, ad- 
ministrative and, indeed, emotional integration. There were three 
main pillars of national integration. The instrument of integration 
in higher education was the English language. Administrative 
integration was achieved through the All-India services trained 
through the English language and taught to regard India as a single 
integrated entity. One of the most important pillars was an in- 
tegrated judiciary, especially in the higher echelons, the instrument 
of integration being, again, the English language. 

tinder the impact of policies precipitated by Hindi Imperialism, 
all these pillars today are steadily crumbling. If under pressure from 
the dominant Hindi bloc the Central Government accepts the 
the suicidal formula of having a multiplicity of media for recruitment 
to the Central services, overnight any pretence of an integrated ad- 
ministration will disappear. There can never be a semblance of 
standardisation in marking and in the moderation of answer papers 
as between languages completely disparate in their content and deve- 
lopment. The introduction of such a formula must lead inevitably 
to the regionalisation of the so-called All-India services and the des- 
truction of vAatw* r capacity they have at present to maintain an 



POST-INDETENTlEXCC BATTLES 


347 


integrated administration, conditioned by an all- India outlook. 

In the glib proposals, the snap decisions that emerge as policy a 
crucial* issue is usually forgotten. What will be the medium in the 
training institutions? The oblique motive of the Hindi Imperialists 
would appear to be that once they are able to fragment recruitment 
on the basis of regional languages, they will be able to insist that 
training institutions should be conducted through the medium of 
Hindi. This again is the wildest of sclMeceplion : the Tamils, 
the Bengalis and others will not accept being trained through the 
medium of Hindi. Recognising this vital fact the Parliamentary 
Languages Committee underlined that in the training institutions 
the medium of entry may be a regional language but English would 
have to continue as the medium in the training for the Armed 
Forces and the Central services. If the Hindi bloc is able to brow- 
beat the Central Government into having two streams of training, 
one in English the other in Hindi, the results will not only be absurd 
but disastrous. There will be two streams of trainem for the All- 
India services : the basis will be laid at least for dividing India 
into two increasingly watertight and hostile service compartments. 

One of the illusory recommendations of the Parliamentary Langu- 
age Committee was that, ultimately, Hindi should be the language 
not only of the Supreme Court but of the High Courts. Here again, 
it was a ease or the Imperialist wishful thinking having gone mad. 
It is the most delirious form of self-deception to imagine that if 
English is displaced Hindi will ever be accepted as the language of 
the non-Hindi speaking High Courts. It is an even more delirious 
form of self-deception to hope that Hindi can ever, at any time, be- 
come the language of the Supreme Court. Legal interpretation and 
precedent have hardened over a period of many generations around 
not only the shades of meaning of a single word, such as, ‘may* or 
‘shall’, but around nuances of shades of meaning. It is anyone’s 
guess as how many aeons of time it would take for such legal inter- 
pretation and precedent to harden around the new, amorphous, un- 
developed Hindi. The present world horizons of law and juris- 
prudence accessible to Indian lawyers and judges through English 
would be constricted to the horizons of the judgments of the former 
High Court of Madhya Bharat. Overnight one of the greatest 
pillars of national integration, the whole unified legal and judicial 
fabric, would be perverted and destroyed. 



348 THE STOUT OP THE ANGLO-DCDIAN COStMUNTTY 

Already, although Hindi cannot be the language for judgments 
and orders in the High Courts, in the Hindi States some 
of the High Courts have the records printed largely in Hindi. 
The result for the litigants from these States has been 
disastrous. The average cost of translating a single page of a 
Hindi record into English for the purpose of the Supreme 
Court record is from Rs. 6 to 7. With the smallest record running 
into anything between 200 and 500 pages the cost of translation from 
Hindi to English runs into several thousands or rupees. This is 
apart from the usual cost of printing or cyclostyling the record, 
which is also appreciable, but nothing compared to the cost of trans- 
lation. As a practising lawyer in the Supreme Court, I am aware 
that because of this new prohibitive burden of translation from Hindi 
to English many litigants, who would like to make a last attempt to 
secure their freedom through the Supreme Court, have found it im- 
possible to do so. Because of this mad rush to impose Hindi, the 
poor average person seeking justice is now virtually prohibited from 
approaching the highest Court in the land. Up till now ifa record 
had to be translated it was done at the district court level when the 
case was processed to the High Court. At that stage the translation 
costs are very much less than in the Supreme Court. 

Symbol Of Retrogression 

The Hindi chauvinists should deserve before they desire. Even 
the Hindi-speaking States have been unable to make any real pro- 
cess in the use or Hindi. Thus the U.P. Government, after spend- 
ing about 30 lakhs of rupees in the preparation of Hindi textbooks 
for certain purposes, had to scrap them. Even the Hindi alphabet 
has not yet been finalised : that used in Bombay is different from the 
alphabet used in the U.P. Giving evidence before the Language 
Commission, politicians from Eastern U.P. complained that they 
were unable to understand the Hindi of Western U.P. Persons as- 
sociated with education are up against the supreme difficulty of 
determining what is the content of Hindi which varies from one 
Hindi State to another. 

As I have already said, 90 per cent of the women and 80 per cent 
of the men in the Hindi States arc illiterate. There are barely 3 
million literates in the whole Hindi area. It has become a familiar 
device for the Hindi zealots to rant against English as the reason for 



POST-DfDETEXDENCE BATTLES 


349 


the falling standards in education. And yet it is common know- 
ledge that even the poorrst parents shy away from the schools run 
through the medium of Hindi because most of them are regarded 
as cesspools of inefficiency and indiscipline and often of incorrigible 
corruption. The same sad story is to be found in most of the 
Universities in the Hindi States. 

The University Inquiry Commission in its report submitted to the 
Government of Bihar, stated that things were, "Really unspeakably 
bad in Bihar University." The report continued, "The rot lias 
run deep, very deep. There are casteiim and factionalism, 
excessive litigation and violence in words and thought and deed 
and every kind of imaginable mudslmgmg. It is no longer a 
university.” 

The report further stated, "There is no peace in its cloisters, no 
spiritual and intellectual tranquility, no gleam of ideals, no striving 
after learning, no desire to follow knowledge. It is a maelstrom of 
violent destructive forces, a place of unrelieved darkness." A simi- 
lar deep malaise was uncovered in Benares and Lucknow. In re- 
spect of the Benares University a Commission reported that there 
was widespread corruption and even moral turpitude in that campus. 
It is significant that this condition of increasing degeneration is to be 
found especially in Universities in the North where the medium is 
largely Hindi. Fortunately, this alt-round degeneration is relative- 
ly absent from the Universities in the South, especially in Tamil Nadu, 
where the medium still remains largely English. In Tact, it is the 
English-medium institutions, both the schools and the colleges, 
which stand out as beacons of hope in the widening morass of 
educational degeneration, indiscipline and even corruption 
that represent the conditions in many of the Hindi-medium 
institutions. 

In an expansive mood, Jawaharlal Nehru felt constrained to 
observe that the general backwardness of the Hindi Stales was a 
reflection of the backwardness of the language. 

Today Hindi is the supreme symbol of retrogression in the Coun- 
try. At least several centuries behind the other major Indian lang- 
ages both in content and development, Hindi imposition will mean 
putting the Country back not into the 18th century, as observed by 
Triguna Sen in one of his lucid moments, but back to the bullock- 
cart-cum-cowdung age. 



350 nre stout op tke Anglo-Indian- comvionttt 

Symbol Of Neo-Imperialism 

Like all neo-imperialisms the appetite of Hindi Imperialism has 
grown with feeding. The Hindi Imperialists are impervious to facts, 
logic and all considerations of the Country’s unity and progress. 
Enjoying unchallenged political dominance at the Centre they arc in 
full-throated, fanatical cry. No one is free from their insults and 
their antics. Whether it is the President of India, the Governor of a 
State, if they are not Hindi-speaking they are subjected to every ex- 
pression of obscurantism, arrogance and downright uncouthness. 

The Constitution contemplated Hindi as nothing more than an 
official language. There was never the remotest suggestion of Hindi 
being the national language or the link language in education. From 
the official language the Hindi zealots have sought to upgrade Hindi 
to the Rashtriya Bhasha, that is, the national language — a status 
which was never conferred by the Constitution. 

The latest attempt of the Hindi chauvinists is to make Hindi into 
the Raj Bhasha, that is, the Ruling language. Without intending 
it, they have uncovered their motive of seeking to make not only Hindi 
the Ruling Language but the Hindi-speaking people the new Ruling 
Race — the Hindi Hcrrcnvolk. 

Unity Of India In The Balance 

I am gravely perturbed by the helplessness of the Central Govern- 
ment to prevent the Country being precipitated into disintegration. 
Practically alone in Parliament, I stood out against the tragic, his- 
toric blunder of the linguistic redistribution of the States. On that 
issue no one could accuse me of any personal motive. I was merely 
fearful of the tragic consequences for the Country of linguistic re- 
organisation. What I had foretold in Parliament and outside has 
proved tragically prophetic. On the language issue, inevitably, 
because English is my mother-tongue and the mother-tongue ol 
my Community, I am emotionally involved. Yet while in my humble 
way I have done my utmost to resist the Juggernaut of Hindi 
neo-Imperialism, I have tried to preserve a minimum sense of 
objectivity. In my capacity as Chairman of the Council for the 
Indian School Certificate Examination and Chairman of the Inter- 
State Board for Anglo-Indian Education, I have insisted that wher- 
ever possible Hindi should be the cecond language in Anglo-Indian 
schools. I have insisted on a steady upgrading of the standards of 



POST-INDEPENDENCE BATTLES 


351 


Hindi instruction in the English-medium schools. I have expressed 
my deep distress nt the fact that Hindi has been banished from 
Tamil Nadu and the Anglo-Indian schools prohibited from teaching 
it as a second language. 

What is required today is not only statesmanship but, above all, 
courage. Tragically, politics is the dominant, often the sole, con- 
sideration. Those who command the largest number of votes and 
have the largest political influence are able to stampede the Govern- 
ment into policies that are obviously not only retrogressive but ir- 
revocably disastrous for the Country. The obvious motive of the Hindi 
Imperialists is to destroy English, to extirpate it from the language 
pattern of ihe Country, Everything they say and do is directed to 
this purpose. Playing politics first, even the front-rank leaden 
succumb to dictation by the Hindi bloc, to acceptance of policies 
that must spell dissolution of what remains of national integration. 

It should be obvious to the meanest intelligence that if English is 
cflaced, inevitably, became Hindi can never and will never take its 
place in higher education, in the training of the administrative ser- 
vices, in the higher reaches of the judiciary, there will be a vacuum, 
which can be filled only by chaos in education and certain national 
disintegration. Linguistic redistribution of the States was the first 
major nail in the coffin of India's integration- If the Central 
Government, from motives of political opportunism or sheer moral 
cowardice, succumbs to the obvious pressures of the Hindi Im- 
perialists, the final nail in the coffin or India’s integration will have 
been struck. No one will then be able to prevent educational, 
linguistic, emotional and political balkanization. Honesty, if not 
courage, should make the leaders realise that English is the last re- 
maining bond of what is left of educational, administrative and judi- 
cial integration. Destroy it, as the Hindi Imperialists wish, and 
India will become merely a geographical name, not even a united 
nations. The unity of India today hangs precariously in the bal- 
ance. Given the premise of continuing democratic viability, 
India’s unity hangs by the bond of English. 



CHAPTER XII 


THE SOCIAL AND THE 
PSYCHOLOGICAL PATTERN 


Life-Line Of The Community 


F ROM Beverley Nichols to Nirad Chaudhuri much ignorantly 
presumptuous, even malicious, nonsense has been written about 
the Anglo-Indian Community, especially about its alleged psycho- 
logical inhibitions. No one who is not close to t he Community, who 
is not aware of its social stratification, the educational and social 
matrix from which it has emerged can pretend to pontificate 
about its attitudes whatever unctions he may apply to his shallow, 
meretricious writing. 

Broadly, the Community falls into three classes, namely, an upper- 
middle class, a lower-middle class and what may be described as the 
lowest stratum, but not in a derogatory sense. This stratification 
depends also on the period of which a person may be writing. 

The pattern of work and service in the Community has changed at 
certain periods of its history. In the upper-middle class I would 
place those in business, the professions, officers in the defence and 
civil services and some of the Anglo-Indian planters and gentlemen 
farmers. The lower-middle class is largely made up of subordinates 
in the Railways, Telegraphs and Customs. With the decrease in 
the number of Anglo-Indians entering these services the lower- 
middle class consists, today, mostly of members working in business 
firms in a subordinate capacity, teachers in the lower categories, 
members working in Embassies in a subordinate capacity. The 
lowest class in the Community consists not only of the unemployed 
but also the under-employed. The class structure of the Community 
however, is not a hide-bound caste structure. There is vertical 
mobility. Sons of subordinate Government servants, having been 



353 


Tire SOCIAL AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PATTERN 

married tire best placed Anglo- " 13 -pj r _; r b 0 f the Com- 

p,acedr.u ro pea„orr,e',aU.ndbmm»men. ^ belong, a 

munity, in Tact, have shown, c to opportuni- 

tendency lo greater refinement an gte- any commu „„y. 

ties than their brothers. Terhaps ^ the rnJ nk Anthony 

In my close association with sc „j u eatinnal institution and 

Public School, New Delhi, which » a c^uftton j.,. { have 

has a large number of Hindu ch ' d ™> ^ and better behaved 

noticed that the sisters are usuall) more re , „udc be- 

than their brash brothers who often male a fetish or 

'’tes-Lhly. perhaps, the 

conditioned by the larger pattern surrounding ol 

may he dereribed a. the pre-Munny period ■ or olIl „ 

social intercourse between Anglo-Indians and Before 

communities. That was aim largely ™ indeed, 

the Mutiny the social pattern was less suhje OTtll[y „ 0 a rti- 

regulation than in later yean. During I n r iiish social 

S - rt a'r^h 0 o n mce“eiSa„ 

life. Before the opening or the Sure Canal, ^ am0 „g 

and military, almost invariably tooled for tl . between 

Anglo-Indian Community. There was also m'ermarnage he 
British and Indian hsmilie, a, the h ghes. leva » J 

of the Suez Canal and more especially after profound 

changed mdically. The indue of British women made, a P 
impact. For pnsc.iedly 11 thme women India 
marriage market. Arriving “ " “ , Anglo-Indian women 
tion from the Anglo-Indians. By and large, g ^ 
were more attractive than their British co pe j ctite 

Indian women had rhe small bone 3 

physical make-up of rhe East, to which . h eir »lom g ^ ^ 

vitality and distinctiveness which readied h light brown 

Syria. Apart from , he blonde Nord.c i„ 

or dark hair accentuating liquid brown or flash g g« Ul . 

clear, soft features of burnished wheat or gold made 



354 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

which has inspired not a little lyricised writing even among European 
commentators. 

Coming to a society in which British men freely married Anglo- 
Indian girls, the British women evolved an insidious, almost vicious- 
ly malicious, social code directed to the elimination of this competi- 
tion. It was a tribute to the astuteness of the British women s 
instinct and their capacity for self-preservation in the marriage mar- 
ket, that a wall of social exclusiveness was drawn increasingly around 
British society. The British clubs grew in numbers and a rigid social 
code was enforced. Members of other communities including 
Anglo-Indians were squeezed out. After that in the British clubs, 
military or civilian, entry was virtually impossible. There were 
stray exceptions of Maharajas or highly placed Hindu or Anglo- 
Indian officials entering these clubs, but these were consigned to the 
position of the proverbial social fish-out-of-water. 

The social barriers continued to grow higher. All manner of 
nuances were evolved even among the British. Among those ad- 
mitted to meet a British official and his wife in their home there were 
careful gradations. The least acceptable socially were invited to 
tea : the next in the social hierarchy among the non-British commu- 
nities would be invited to cocktails : dinner was usually the preserve 
of the British officials inter se. The extent to which this social pat- 
tern permeated British society was demonstrated by the fact that 
even the British clergy were hide-bound by it. The average Gar- 
rison Chaplain attached to a British cantonment was as much a crea- 
ture of social prejudice as the most dyed-in-the-wool British official. 

In the mofussil areas where clubs existed the social barriers were 
less rigid. Because of the smallness of the British population officers 
from all communities were usually admitted to the local ‘hurra* club. 
But once the British officers migrated to cities or metropolitan centres 
they fell into the more rigid British pattern. Indian officers who 
had access to the ‘burra’ dub in the mofussil were rigorously ex- 
cluded from the British ‘burra* clubs in the larger towns and cities. 

Two marked consequences flowed from this pattern which cry- 
stallized after the Mutiny. The average British officer, although 
often dedicated to his work, was essentially not only a sojourner but 
a stranger in India . 1 Those who worked in the districts, inevitably 
came into official contact with the different sections of the people ; 
but there was no social'contact with the middle or the lower-middle 



THE SOCIAL ASD Tire mCHOLOCICAL PATTON 355 

classes. The British official knew nothing really of their home life, 
their habits and their attitudes. 

The British women were even in a more insular position. Their 
contact with India was, usually, confined to the servant class. Their 
knowledge of India and things Indian was drawn largely from their 
observation of the servant class. The average British woman gloried 
in this artificial exclusiveness. 

Second-class Britons, such as counter-jumpers in firms in Calcutta 
and the so-called Domiciled Europeans, were as rigidly excluded 
from the 'hurra 1 clubs as members of any other community. The 
British members or subordinate rank in the gun-carriage factories — 
even the officers — and warrant officers in the Army were banned. 
These usually had their own clubs or institutes. The Anglo-Indians, 
except for a few officials, were subject to the same ban. 

In Calcutta, the large commercial community practised social 
exclusiveness in an even more twisted way than the British officials. 
The ‘buTTa* sahibs of Clive Street had their own social code. 
British commercial life was rigorously graded. Only those who 
were above the shop-assistant class could enter the clubs. Highly 
placed Britons, especially Scotsmen in the jute trade who married 
beautiful and cultured Anglo-Indian girls, were often compelled to 
resign their posts. 

Some Anglo-Indians slipped into the ‘burra’ clubs bur, usually, 
they did so only by masquerading as Europeans. They lived in 
constant fear of the discovery of their real position. I remember 
meeting a school contemporary of mine at a lunch with the then Bri- 
tish Governor of Bengal — that was in prc-Indcpendencc days. The 
Anglo-Indian was a member of the Governor’s European cricket 
eleven. When I casually referred to our school days he suddenly 
suffered from an attack of amnesia. I felt sorry for him : he was a 
fair Anglo-Indian but yet very much an Anglo-Indian. As long as 
the masquerade succeeded these Anglo-Indians enjoyed the premium 
placed on membership of the 'burra* club. 

Some Anglo-Indians, however, despite their Anglo-Indian pig- 
mentation, became members of the ‘burra* clubs because of their 
official position, but they were never really at home. The men 
perhaps got on tnsU enough, but the women were in an invidious 
position. The British women pursued their social snobbery with a 
certain feline deadliness. Thus not only Anglo-Indian women but 



356 THE STORY OF THE ANCLO- INDIAN COMMUNITY 

British women married to Anglo-Indians who happened to be mem- 
bers of the ‘burra’ club were usually the pointed targets not only of 
snobbery but of every refinement of feminine vengefulness. Some 
of them put a brave face on it, such as the Anglo-Indian manager ofa 
well-known bank, whom I knew. An Oxonian w ho had won his tennis 
Blue, he had married a very charming British woman. Both his 
wife and Anglo-Indian mother were obviously unhappy in the club. 

I recall the case of a very handsome British member of the I.C.S. 
who married a lovely Anglo-Indian girl. She was what in those 
days was referred to as a Domiciled European. With blonde hair, 
blue eyes and a soft complexion, she was easily the most beautiful 
woman in the club tn question. The young Britisher was first ask- 
ed to break his engagement; when he refused and married he was 
transferred, sent in fact into official Coventry. 

I also remember the case of a British Colonel of the I.M.S. who 
had married a very charming, cultured Anglo-Indian woman. Their 
daughter, who had been educated in England, was the target of much 
venom among the British wives. When she married a British Artil- 
lery officer the malicious gossip was that an impecunious Artillery 
officer had married 'half an Indian*. Among those who purported 
to sit in judgment were at least a couple of British women whom I 
knew to have been servants in the U.K. Their marriages had been 
of the shot-gun variety. The husbands had been compelled by irate 
parents of the women in question to marry because of pre-marital 
complications. 

Two incidents which happened in one of the ‘buna’ clubs in 
Calcutta highlighted the racist and colour antics that had been 
institutionalised as part of the twisted British social system. 

A well-placed British businessman had married a really beauti- 
ful, talented Anglo-Indian girl. Although of i he blonde variety she 
never tried to hide the fact that she was an Anglo-Indian. After 
the marriage her husband persuaded her to apply for membership 
of the ‘burra* club. The blimps on the committee, many of whom 
were very much of the lower-middle class, even declasse variety in 
the U.K. but had constituted themselves into a self-appointed aristo- 
cracy in Calcutta, had apparently heard that the wife was an Anglo- 
Indian. She was asked to interview the committee. Her husband 
told her that the interview was merely a matter of routine, as the 
committee wanted to make certain that she looked ULe a European. 



THE SOCIAL AND THE RSTCHOLOGICAL PATTERN 357 

The wife kept her counsel. When she arrived the members of the 
committee were rather dumbfounded by her good looks. Indeed, 
some of them fell over one another to tell her that they v» ould not 
have bothered her but the rules required an interview and that she 
was very welcome as a member. The young wife, however, coldly 
declined the honour, adding as a parting shot that, apart from her 
face which was obviously as white as any of theirs, she could assure 
them that her ‘behind’ was infinitely whiter. There was another 
incident of a British military officer married to an Anglo-Indian. 
After having met the committee, the wife had it conveyed, through 
her husband, that after she had inspected the committee she had no 
desire to join the club. 

This kind of snobbery projected itself in varying degrees into the 
Anglo-Indian social milieu. Usually the better-placed Anglo- 
Indians, who happened to belong to a ‘burra* club, would not join 
the clubs which were patronised even by well-placed members of the 
Community. Some of the Anglo-Indian wives were as “uppish" 
as the most upstart of British women. Even the wives of the mem- 
bers of the Indian Medical Department (British Cadre) considered 
it “infra dig” to go to social functions at the Railway Institute. Be- 
cause the husbands could rise in the Department, which was reserved 
for Anglo-Indians, to the rank of Major, the wives felt that they were 
in the upper social swim. 

There were several clubs in the larger towns and cities patronised 
by better-placed Anglo-Indians, civilian or professional men. To 
these clubs also went the so-called second-class British officers, those 
in the gun-carriage factories, warrant officers of the I.U.L. (Indian 
Unattached List) such as the Ordnance and the Signals and also 
many British officers who had risen from the ranks. In these clubs 
there was complete fraternization and no suggestion of any race 
or colour prejudice. 

The Railway Institute 

Anglo-Indian Railway Institutes occupy a special niche in the 
Anglo-Indian social scheme. The Senior Institute, the ‘Inster’ as 
it was called, was usually the preserve of the Community especially 
where they were employed in large numbers. These Institutes were 
Ur be found right down the line on every railway. The Institute* » ere 
usually well-off financially and provided plenty of social amenities 



358 THE STOUT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUXITT 

including tennis, billiards and, of course, regular dances. For the 
upper subordinates including the Class II and some Class I officers 
who had risen from subordinate positions, and the Class III staff" 
from station masters and loco foremen down to guards and firemen 
these Institutes were the centres of their social life. 

Many of these Institutes were household names in the Community, 
such as the Burt Institute, Lahore, the Ajmer Institute, the Kharag- 
pur Institute and a score of others. They usually had a very fine 
boarded dance floor, an excellent bar and at least one super-band. 
The amenities, including tennis, billiards and swimming were as 
good as those in some of the ‘burra* clubs. 

Afuch ignorant nonsense has been written about social life at the 
Railway Institutes. As in any club patronised by people who have 
what may be described as an Anglicised way of life, there was drink- 
ing and a sense of fun. 

Anglo-Indian railwaymen were in the front rank of sport in the 
Country. Because of the opportunities at the Institutes they pro- 
duced some of the finest tennis and billiard players in the Country. 

The social functions at an Institute, especially the dances, were 
marked by a warmth and sense of fun that characterise the Commu- 
nity. The smallest Railway Institute could produce a string band as 
good as some of the finest professional bands. Dances were punctu- 
ated by solos or duets or quartets. The smallest Institute produced 
not one but several girls with really attractive voices : the men also 
could produce their share of good singing. And, of course, the Rail- 
way Institute dance continued till the small and, not seldom, till the 
large hours of the morning. 

It is not surprising that with so much musical talent we find, today, 
Anglo-Indians among the top pop singers in the world. To men- 
tion a few — ClifTRichards (formerly Harry 'Webb) of Lucknow, Tony 
Brent (formerly Reginald Bretagne) of Deofali, Engelbert Humper- 
dinck (formerly Gerald Dorsey) of Madras, Eden Kane the son of 
Bert Sarstedt who was a senior Anglo-Indian official on the railway. 

John Mayer, whose elder brother is working as the Headmaster 
of the Frank Anthony Public School, New Delhi, has achieved not a 
little fame in his ambition to build a bridge between the two art 
forms he loves — Indian and European music. Mayer won a scholar- 
ship to Britain's Royal Academy of Music. 

At the age of eight he began to study the violin under Phillipe 



359 


TO* SOCIAL AMO TttL rStC.IOLOO.CAL »rn..AM 

„, first, A violinist sv.th the London "ttfi ^ B . D . C . 

ss i tit the Royal H > m ‘» m ?"'^ 0 ' d ;u,rf s,n.lc, most of 0* ««■ 
Symphony Orchestra. He fTlJ. timc while living tit So"' 1 ’ 
European conductors. In ^ depositions that have sson him 

London, Mayer has created 40 oust c 1™^ ^ fon n.d- 

a steadily grossing reputation. He » 

ably erudite and ...telly the deduced ami. ^ ^ ^ M ds . 

IntheJulylOO-Otssue ofourjourn 1 > ^ an A „ g lo-Ind,an 

me Adelina Deefolts, the wife OTUJ- distinguished 

official in the Telegraph Department. ^ „ r lh5 

musical career and was knots Marleyn, Londons 

She had a twelve-month c °“” Q covent Garden, Hal ad 
famous voice special, st, of the Royal <** Elia Strains, 

and Oratorio fame. She undemtudteda he fine ^ .P^, Qu „„., 

svho took the leading part tn the pr I ^Scales of merit, sang 
Hall. While in London, she game * d ^med flattering en- 

befote some of the greatest 1 Utndon et, „ refermd 

comia from all who heard her. Madame 

to as the ‘Eurasian Patti . flutter, especially ga mes 

fikT-Ho^ 

people. msdeed love or social life. There has 

Anglo-Indians have a very marked ^ todcB that sv.th- 

heen criticism even from some *•* Anglo-Indians cannot be 

out a dance or at least a vvhtst drum he Ang^ ^ ^ 
attracted to a meeting of the Assoc’ ' the A11 .i„dia Anglo- 
rect. At the sWnual General Meenp^ tot to Q . ersadd 
Indian Association an item such COITCCtj hosvevcr, that 

usually attracts the largest ofcrossvL. iye „. to<>VVI1 leader is 

for an ordinary branch n '"“J' S ’. ■ d „ ddl a dance or s.hist drive 
present, the function b inevitably joined 

in order to attract the membets. Community to social 

There is undoubtedly a tendc of J “ Indim . In any corn- 

division. This ts not Pecuk.r«o>h^' g^ tcndcnc y for 

munity that is stratified socially, tnerc 



360 THE STORY OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

the better placed to have their own centres of social life. In the 
larger cities and towns, in clubs which arc controlled by the Commu- 
nity, functions on certain special occasions draw members from the 
different social strata. Thus, at a Christmas or New Year dance at 
the Gidney Club, New Delhi, will be found a number of well-placed 
Anglo-Indians and their families enjoying the function with those 
who are humbly placed. Today, the better-placed Anglo-Indians 
go to the general clubs patronised by senior officers and prosperous 
businessmen. Those in the Armed Forces have their own clubs and 
in the bigger cities there is also the general club. 

The Calcutta Rangers Club 

The Calcutta Rangers Club, one of the premier Anglo-Indian 
clubs in the Country, deserves a special niche in the Anglo-Indian 
hall of fame. The Club was founded in JC96. Apart from provid- 
ing social activities for the Anglo-Indian Community in Calcutta, 
it has built a special place for itself in the field of sport. Some of the 
finest Anglo-Indian hockey and football teams have been nursed by 
the Calcutta Rangers Club. 

The Calcutta Rangers Sweep was for many years the most popu- 
lar sweep in the Country because it was also perhaps the best run. 
This Sweep enabled the Club to donate lavishly to charities irrespec- 
tive of caste or community. 

During the years 1954 to 1967, the Club donated over 240 lakhs 
of rupees tD various charities. Thus between 1954 and 1956 a sum 
of over 3 lakhs was donated for the erection and establishment of the 
Kumud Sanlar Ray Tuberculosis Hospital at Jadavpur. During 
the same period a sum of about 3 lakhs was donated to the Desh- 
bandhu Memorial Society (Chest Clinic), Darjeeling. In 1953, 
Rs. 1,20,000 were donated towards the establishment of the Mayor 
of Calcutta’s T.B Clinic. Further, a sum of Rs. 1 lakh was donated 
to the H.C. Mookerjee Memorial T.B. After-Care Colony Society. 

The Club has rendered yeoman service to Anglo-Indian educa- 
tion. Two trusts have been established, namely, the Calcutta 
Rangers Educational Fund and the West Bengal Charitable Fund. 
From the former, stipends are granted to a large number of Anglo- 
Indian students. The latter fund provides for the relief and medical 
expenses including hospitalisation of Anglo-Indians in straitened 
circumstances. Particular attention is given to Anglo-Indian T.B. 



■nm SOCIAL ACT Tim TSTCI.OLOCICAI* rATTTAI. 

■ , rases the coil of ihc enure IreAtmenl u 
patients end in appropriate eases 

iKirnc by the fund. 

Home Lift . tIlc Community. ln- 

Family ties have always been * * of unfihal mgrati- 

evitably, as in other eommunutrs, there ^ ^ P „ha P , ,„e 
tude, but these ere the rxeepUons ttoi P than the men. 

nol help her 

It is very rare, indeed, to W a .Wuer sth ^ 

parents when they are in need. Aery no t a few eases 

the daughter even after she . . because of 

«r sou, who have abandoned he, dea or g 

sheir continuing support to o\ P lhe present infla- 

Eerore Independence the Community, especial- 

tionary eonditions the standard of In J i(lct ,ble gTaetousnets. 

ly inThe upper-middle class, was = ta ,,y every Anglo- 

In the smaller towns, in the , ,„me of them owned 

Indian family owned a house « in which them was one of 

several. In my home town, . 'community comparable with 
the largest concentrations or " . h c civ jl Station were owned 
Bangalore, whole lines orbungalmv. tn th „hat would now 

by member, or the Community. ' kn0OT as Nap.er 

be considered an oITensive anomaly * jiaos. TheEuropean, 

Town waareserved for EuryansudA^ ^ bungalows. 

were those who had marrted into die Cfc ^ from 8 15 rooms, 

with their separate well-kept gard ]pdiam a „d Europeans, 

could be owned or occupied otdy JT J panted a similar 

Bangalore, Dehra Dun and >^h 0 thL of the very finest type, 
pattern of Anglo-Indians owning 

or bungalows. , j Anelo-Indians were not ony 

The homes or the better-placed Ang opens', ve furnish. 

comfortable but. In many ways graeu. „ r „,.B were 

ings, the eut-glasa and silver-ware. the ^ the •*«- 

part of the pattern in the b " , " b ° and brandy glasses 

ware, the en.-gto decanter, and ^ typta B, Anglo- 

vy-ould be almost priceless today. ]ish breakfast— pomdge, 

Indian. Brealfast was esrentndly “ f, c t s.as 

egg, ,„d ftuit. Lunch .here was the usual 

Anglo-Indian. In some homes alt 



362 THE STORT OF TlfE AN CIO- INDIAN COMMUNITY 

curry and rice, vegetable and other fruit or a sweet afterwards. 
Dinner was somewhat along the English pattern: roast, stews and 
pudding. The availability of good milk, pure ghee, plenty of fruit 
and sweets, at prices which would be considered absurdly low today, 
is perhaps one of the reasons why the Community was by and large 
physically robust. Before the motor car the better-placed Anglo- 
Indian families owned a buggy or horsc-and-trap. With the advent 
of the motor car the better-placed families liad their own car, some 
had two or even three, while the sons went to college on their motor- 
cycles, some even sporting cars. Even the Anglo-Indian toco fore- 
man, mail driver and, most certainly, the station master had hi* 
car. 

Entertainment was usually generous. The older among the 
better-placed Anglo-Indians in the mofussil areas did not indulge 
much in club life. The social entertainment was in the home. 
Friends and relatives would regularly visit one another especially in 
the evenings. There was much musical talent in the Community. 
Even the averagely-placed Anglo-Indian usually had a piano in hi* 
home: the daughter* and often the sons had been taught to play. 
Formerly, the violin was popular with the sons. The display of cats 
would be generous ranging from salt to sweet and, in-betw een, usual- 
ly the well-known curry puff. Among the better-placed, whisky was 
the usual drink of the evening, while some preferred beer or even 
rum. Some of the older women had a chota or two. Actually, 
however, they preferred the Anglo-Indian milk-punch, ginger wine 
or, especially in the early days, port and lemon. Visiting friends 
after Church on Sunday morning was also a regular feature. 
There would be plenty of eats available, coffee or tea, and for 
the men usually beer. 

Practically every Anglo-Indian home, even those of the lower- 
middle class stratum, was marked by food specialities. K.C- Neogy, 
a distinguished member of Parliament and member of the Cabinet 
after Independence, told me that the best curries in the Country 
were those made by Anglo-Indians. In the North, Anglo-Indians 
preferred their chapatis and parathas to rice. Dal was also prepar- 
ed differently according to the region : in the North and Central 
India, usually it was of the solid variety : in the South much more 
watery. In the South the Anglo-Indian menu was famous for it* 
mulligatawny soup which Is usually mixed with rice and meat. 



363 


Easter and O'*"”. 

several weeks, » r •“ k,nd ’ ot wlTcotcellence of .heir recipes, some 
wives and d 3 u 5 h.cn competed .n generation. Apart 
of which were handed dow-n from MB' were 3 hos. of other 

from 3 variety of the most data* tc* ^ ^ had away 
!p ccialiu« much to * hc *J cll S h ’ Kulkuls. rxny cocad«, Ruava 

at boarding schooU for 8 to 9 • made practically 

cheese and jelly were a few is a dough-lttc mia.ure 

in every Anglo-Indian home. The hulk^ ^ T „ e rosy 
made of flour and rolled »>“• . . staling mature of 

cocade is made on a rose-mould and *pjea U K 1 „, crisp 

sweet. The rosy cocade in the end ~“^‘ali,ies-s»-.ongue, sal. 
flour sweet. Them were vatmusmea F* fn>m tbe brain of a 
”-.K d i^.^. order of P— 1 , every 

^"d'las.cr -te^orU,. — 

togethen, especially for the 0 ““'”“ " b „ from dilfcren. pari, of 
of the family made it a P°”' “ff’,, Communion in die mommB 
the County. Chumh and espccmU, „ u nd of visiu by fnend. and 
were a must. After that tor ™ ® ^ racially milt punch, 
relatives. Much cakeandnot a hr lhc re was. usually, 

and also whislry were ottered. I ^ an adjunct erpracucah 

mueh community singing, aroumlthep songs tom Join, 

ly every Anglo-Indian home The : old eo ybe capa- 

S Body to Polly "ft bendable t some «r the impressed 
city for improvisation is also b , mg , have always been 

^eulTrlf ^opular'ta fT^^dal brand of liquor. Milk 
p Anglo-Indians also have them 1 0 f,he finest wanes to 

punch, with a nun. sugar and nwlk *“> ' „ r a fight sherry and a 
L found in the Country. It *0 ^ MyoldMother. 

taste better than the most .refined hght, d^nlL.les rfmilk punch 

until she died in 1951, usedtose December of each ye 

and an equal number „r Chr ts.mas eako ^ B go 

when I remained in Delhi. M P. E “S« <*■>* ,h ‘ 

ecstasies over the milk punch H thc European pattern 

Dress in the Commumty 61to r* d f cllorc h we wore shorts, coats. 

of die period. As youngsters, going to ch 



362 Tire stort op the Anglo-Indian communitt 

curry and rice, vegetable and other fruit or a sweet afterwards. 
Dinner was somewhat along the English pattern : roast, stews and 
pudding. The availability of good milk, pure ghee, plenty of fruit 
and sweets, at prices which would be considered absurdly low today, 
is perhaps one of the reasons why the Community was by and large 
physically robust. Before the motor car the better-placed Anglo- 
Indian families owned a buggy or horsc-and-trap. With the advent 
of the motor car the better-placed families had their own car, some 
had two or even three, while the sons went to college on their motor- 
cycles, some even sporting cars. Even the Anglo-Indian loco fore- 
man, mail driver and, most certainly, the station master had his 
car. 

Entertainment was usually generous. The older among the 
belter-placed Anglo-Indians in the mofussit areas did not indulge 
much in club life. The social entertainment was in the home. 
Friends and relatives would regularly visit one another especially in 
the evenings. There was much musical talent in the Community. 
Even the averagely-placed Anglo-Indian usually had a piano in his 
home : the daughters and often the sons had been taught to play. 
Formerly, the violin was popular with the sons. The display of eats 
would be generous ranging from salt to sweet and, in-between, usual- 
ly the well-known curry puff. Among the bcttcr-placcd, whisky was 
the usual drink of the evening, while some preferred beer or even 
rum. Some of the older women had a chota or two. Actually, 
however, they preferred the Anglo-Indian milk-punch, ginger wine 
or, especially in the early days, port and lemon. Visiting friends 
after Church on Sunday morning was also a regular feature. 
There would be plenty of eats available, coffee or tea, and for 
the men usually beer. 

Practically every Anglo-Indian home, even those of the lower- 
middle class stratum, was marked by food specialities. K.C. Neogy, 
a distinguished member of Parliament and member of the Cabinet 
after Independence, told me that the best curries in the Country 
were those made by Anglo-Indians. In the North, Anglo-Indians 
preferred their chapatis and parathas to rice. Dal was also prepar- 
ed differently according to the region: in the North and Central 
India, usually it was of the solid variety : in the South much more 
watenr. In the South the Anglo-Indian mei nu was famous for its 
mulligatawny soup which is usually mixed with rice and meat. 



the wcru. *SD Tint mc.otoc.cAE .Am» 


365 

VOllj ty CAil— 2— 

tionalistn in Urn Common, <y. "" Xnmnnny. 

failed became they hate Imen.J c | cc ,td without any con- 

Oilice-beama of the Anoeunon w J , c hool> that 

sidcrationa of denomination- ^, y denominational especially ,n 

tdotS TZTJ Anthony fo "" 

of teacheta have no plaee for eaa.e or denom, nation. 

or Hindus. With the growth o! the Community be- 

Mutiny, this intermarriage *** * oul ’ side the Community 

came rigorously endogamous. M» K hrrtdinc, as this also was 
was frowned upon. Yet there was n * regarded 

frowned upon. For first cousins to tbmk of mamage ^ 
a, near Joilege. In a sonaet . the «>■£•*£ S roeiety. 
in the Community have followed almos P* arranged . Eligi- 

That, ia the Community manage “"t^eldom, it ever, up to 
blc bachelors would be invited to the Cf j un til at least 

the 1920s, was a girl allowed to go out « n ^ ( ^ After 
the young man had made hit honoura e in ^ w[tl „ went 

World War II the pattern changrd. l oung man Iet> 

out unchaperoncd. I. it, however, ‘ ^ imettd. to go 

down the girl with whom he has beco ^ a 5tr ; ct social code 

steady. Broken engagements are »«• cmcn ts : the >oung 

in the Community that frowns upon , . ot h c r parents, 

man who reneges finds it difficult to be a PP r °' d sufficient time 

Although I have visited the States, I did "Otspen^ ^ American 
there to pass judgment on the mora ity, or a w’ar II the 

society. I musAay, however, that generally 

G.ls. who were posted in India, b 0 * office rs goo<i girls, 

exhibited the morals of the farmya • ° victims to their 

because they were naive and not world >-wis > c f Amen- 

wolf techniques, mile several girls married good types 



364 TOE STOR.V O? THE ANGLO-INDIAN COAtMONITT 

stiff collars overlapping the coat with a bow-tie and boots or shoes. 
As we grew up we took to trousers : there were the drain-pipes, coats 
with short, narrow lapels and stiff collars; boaters were also worn. 
The frocks worn by the ladies varied according to the period. Later 
the men's dress changed : there was the period of the Oxford bags 
and coats with wide lapels. The women’s frocks changed during 
the Charlston period. 

There was much emphasis in the home on physical exercise. Sons 
were encouraged to take part in all games, boxing being particular- 
ly popular with the Community. Apart from the games there was 
considerable emphasis on body-building exercises — dumb-bells, terry- 
expanders and chest-expanders being the most popular. Some 
youngsters, especially those who went to college, took to the dand- 
baithak. 

Religion 

Apart from the loyalty to the home, Anglo-Indians, by and large, 
are also loyal to their church. While technically and legally an 
Anglo-Indian need not be a Christian, in fact the Community to- 
day is entirely Christian. And the Community is Christian by 
origin and not conversion. I should imagine that today about 60 
per cent of the Community are Roman Catholics. Originally this 
was not the position. The children of British soldiers and officers 
who married women of Portuguese or French extraction were usual- 
ly baptised into the Roman Catholic Church. Even at a later 
period when Anglo-Indians married girls from the Community, if 
one of the spouses was a Roman Catholic, because, apparently of 
the stringent code imposed by the Roman Catholic Church on its 
devotees, the children were almost invariably baptised into the 
Roman Catholic Church. 

The Community, however, has been free from the denomina- 
tional taint in its social and public life. It is significant that my 
predeccssor-in-office was a Methodist : I am an Anglican. And 
yet the members who are largely Roman Catholic give their loy- 
alty to the Association and its leader, uninfluenced by denomina- 
tional considerations. There have been sporadic attempts by would- 
be leaders to exploit denominationalism in the Community: I, at 
any rate, have struck down any exhibition of denominationalism 
in the Community. Regrettably there have been attempts, at inter- 



Tjre SOCIAL JLSD TJIE PSTCJIOLOGIC.tL r.STTZKX 367 

The typical marriage pattern in the Community, up to the time 
of Independence, can be exemplified by a practical example know n 
best to me, namely, that or my family in my father’s generation. 
The eldest son, who entered the Provincial Forest Service, died 
young while still a bachelor. The second son, William Anthony, 
who abo joined the Forest Service and retired as a senior Imperial 
Forest Officer, married Alice Hill, a first generation Anglo-Indian. 
Here I use the expression first generation to mean the offspring of 
a European married to an Anglo-Indian girl. During the 
earliest period in its history a first generation Anglo-Indian was 
one who was the oflspring of a Briton married to a Hindu or a 
Muslim woman. The third son, Joe Anthony, perhaps the least 
educated Df the brothers although he did his High School and had 
a Health Diploma, became a legendary figure as the Health Officer 
in the Jubbulpore Corporation. Mounted on horseback he was 
to be seen in every part of the City. He was responsible for making 
Jubbulpore into one of the garden cities of India, At one time a 
middleweight boxing champion, his name was a household word 
among all communities. During the epidemics, especially of 
plague, that used to decimate the city, he was known to go single- 
handed into houses, when all the Corporation staff had deserted, 
and carry out dead bodies himself to ensure their proper cremation. 
He married Cecilia Baker, a first generation Anglo-Indian : her 
father, an ex-soldier from the British army, had settled in the 
Country and married an Anglo-Indian girl. The youngest 
son, my father, Richard John Anthony, married Marion Knight, 
also a first generation Anglo-Indian: my Mother’s lather, Wil- 
liam Isaac Knight, who started life as an apothecary in the Royal 
Artillery, settled in the Country and married an Anglo-Indian 
girl. 

Or the sisters, two married first generation Anglo-Indians, 
Webb and Cole, who were Provincial Forest Officers; the third 
married a British ex-soldier, Bill Loveday, a covenanted hand in the 
railway, and the fourth married an Irishman, Joe Sullivan, who 
was also a covenanted employee in the railway. Thus all the 
brothers married first generation Anglo-Indians and all the sisters 
married either Europeans or Anglo-Indians. 

As I have already said, after the Mutiny the Community became 
rigorously endogamous. Marriages outside the Community 



366 


THE STOUT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COJOfUNTTT 


cans, others were let down. Fortunately, the number of girls 
who were let down was not large and did not create a problem 
for the Community, as such girls usually left the Country rather 
than face shame and disgrace in the Community. 

Some writers, even Anglo-Indians, have tended to lampoon 
the Community for its alleged tendency to ‘improve the breed’. 
Undoubtedly, especially before Independence, many mothers 
liked their daughters to marry fair Anglo-Indians or Europeans. 
Marriage to Europeans, if they were of a lower class, sometimes 
had tragic results. Anglo-Indian girls from the very best of homes, 
cultured and refined, some of them having completed their edu- 
cation abroad, sometimes married British sergeants or warrant 
officers, who were much below them in education and culture. 
Sometimes the marriage turned out well, especially if the soldier 
settled in the Country and was assimilated to the social and cultural 
refinements of the girl's family: sometimes, also, the marriage 
failed because of the girl finding the liabits of the husband crude 
and intolerable. 

So far as intra-community marriage was concerned, the posi- 
tion of the man, irrespective of his colour, was often the determinant. 
Even the darkest men of the Community in good positions were 
accepted, perhaps with some mental reservations, as sons-in-law. 
This inclination to improve the breed is not confined to the Com- 
munity. It is a reflection or the Hindu attitude towards caste or 
vama, which in its derivative form means colour. This attitude 
-s expressed even, today, in leading dailies through advertisements 
that insist on the Hindu bride being fair, apart from possessing 
other intacta. 

Many Anglo-Indian families, however, refused to allow their 
daughters to meet, much less marry, British soldiers. The 
Tommy, as he was generally referred to, however decent, tended 
to be stigmatised by the better placed families as a coarse and 
vulgar type. 

During World War II, a number of Anglo-Indian girls married 
British or American soldiers, including some of the most highly 
placed officers, and migrated with their husbands after the war. 
Some of these soldiers and officers, however, settled in the Country 
and have found a place in the Community and the Country of 



THE SOCIAL AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PATTERN 369 

a reflection of the herd consciousness that characterises so much of 
Indian society. It also underlines an essential pride of Commu- 
nity, a sense of Community self-respect. 

Inevitably, in a community of mixed origins there has been as- 
similation over the centuries. Because of this assimilation, despite 
diverse origins, British, Trench, Dutch, German, Portuguese and 
even American, the process has led to what I have referred to as homo- 
zygosity, that is, certain common physical characteristics — a single 
language, English, and a common identiliable way of life. 

We sec the same process, or course on a much wider scale and 
along a more diverse colour and racial spectrum, in a country like 
America. American society represents the most miscellaneous of 
ethnic cocktails. Apart from the white and olT-white intermixtures, 
as I have mentioned in the Introduction, at least 1,00,000 Negroes 
after going through the Jtages of quadroon and octoroon are assimi- 
lated each year to the white American nation. According to leading 
scientists, in another 500 years there ssill not be a single so-called 
white American without an admixture ofNegroid blood. 

The claims to ethnic purity and superiority by the British have 
exercised the wit of literati for centuries. Huxley says that the 
British are among the most hybridised of races in the world and he 
is proud of it. Huxley also tells us that the Britisher is not only a 
mongrel, but it is his mission to be a good and effective mongrel. 
In a mood of confession Daniel Defoe wrote his ‘True-Born English- 
man'. At least the following passage is perhaps worth salvaging 
from obscurity. 

"Thus from a mixture of all kinds began 
That heterogeneous thing, an Englishman: 

In eager rapes and furious lust begot 
Between a painted Briton and a Scot; 

Whose gendering offspring quickly learnt to bow 
And yoke their heifers to the Roman plough; 

From whence a mongrel half-breed race there came. 

With neither name nor nation, speech or fame; 

In whose hot veins new mixtures quickly ran, 

Infused between a Saxon and a Dane; 

While their rank daughters, to their parents just. 

Received all nations with promiscuous lust. 



368 THE STORT OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITT 

were frowned upon, except to Europeans. Some people have 
sought to criticise the Community for its insularity, but, once 
again, it was a reflection of the caste system. Parents would not 
give their consent not only to the daughters but even to the sons 
marrying into other Indian communities. Thus, I recall the case 
of one of my cousins, the daughter or William Anthony, who 
because of her father’s position and membership of the ‘burra’ club 
used to meet well-placed members of other communities. A 
highly educated girl she grew friendly with a highly cultured 
Brahmin, a member of the I.C.S., who was the local district magis- 
trate. My uncle, always the perfect gentleman, perhaps had his 
mental rescrvaUons. Such reservations are to be found in every 
community and more especially in India with its rigid caste 
inhibitions. Even in the most progressive communities there are 
reservations, in respect of marriage, flowing from differing 
religions and differing ways of life. But my aunt, a rather 
typical Anglo-Indian woman, had rather explicit reservations. 
In no uncertain terms she told both the Brahmin member of 
the I.C.S., when he asked for my cousin’s hand in marriage, 
and the daughter that she could not prevent them from 
marrying but she would certainly ensure that they and their 
children would never darken her doors. That put an end to 
the friendship. The ‘Maha-Brahmin’ was out-Brahmined. I 
met this gentleman later when I was a member of the Central 
Legislature : he was then the Secretary of one of the most important 
Departments of the Central Government before Independence. 
I sometimes wondered whether he resented the Community because 
of his early experience and his first attempt at marriage. This 
cousin of mine married an Anglo-Indian clergyman. Today, 
they are in the U.K., where the husband has a comfortable living. 

‘ Genuine ’ Anglo-Indians 

In my chapter on Gidney I have referred to the complex in the 
Community in respect of ‘genuine’ Angto-Indians. Cedric Dover, 
the internationally famous Anglo-Indian author and biologist, has 
satirised this tendency as ‘The urge for purity among the impure*. 
To an outsider it would seem not a little ridiculous for a community 
of mixed blood to talk of ‘genuineness’ implying, as it were, an in- 
sistence on being ‘genuine’ half-castes. Yet this complex is there, 



THE SOC1U. AKD THE PSTCHOtOGICAX. PATTERN 


37 ! 


the upper-middle class who have married Europeans have produced 
some or the most outstanding Indians. Among these have been 
judges of the Supreme Court, High Courts and leading figures in 
public life especial !>' in Bengal. 

The greatest exponents of spurious doctrines of race superiority 
from Kipling Id Hiller were obviously polygenetics. I have always 
been intrigued by photographs of both Hitler and Kipling : the 
former was the antithesis of the so-called Nordic type : Hitler’s 
pogroms were probably motivated by a subconscious guilt complex 
of possessing an admixture of Jewish blood. Both in features and 
pigmentation, Kipling suggested ethnic admixtures with a tan not 
accounted for merely by the Indian sun. 

As with the Americans especially, there has been a tendency 
among the Anglo-Indians to look with favour upon what are re- 
garded as typically British or Irish names, like the Americans 
there has been a tendency in the Community to adopt names 
with an Anglo-Saxon appearance. Persons with what are gene- 
rally referred to as Goan names often cither changed completely 
to a British variety or there was resort to ingenious variations 
which gave an Anglo-Saxon flavour : thus D’Silva was changed to 
Silver, Da Costa to Coster, Ferreira to Perrier, Rodrigues to Rode- 
ricks, Fernandez to Ferns and so forth. 

Not that British names were any guarantee against criticism be- 
cause not a few Indian Christians have the most high-sounding of 
English, Irish and Scottish names, some being even double-barrell- 
ed, A last fling of criticism would be tlmt in spite of the high- 
sounding name the person was descended from manumitted slaves, 
especially in Bengal where slaves often adopted the high-sounding 
names of their European and Anglo-Indian masters. 

The term Goan is also a misnomer. Many members of the Com- 
munity have what is loosely referred to as Goan names. These per- 
sons or their ancestors liave never had anything to do with Goa. 
These names are common in the South and also in West Bengal, 
especially Calcutta. Of course, such names are common in Bombay 
but the contact with Goa would be more than likely. The names 
are indicative of Portuguese descent or influence and also, perhaps, 
of the baptising fervour of a certain type of Roman Catholic priests. 

‘ Usually the persons who talk most about ‘genuine’ Anglo-Indians 
are of the darkest variety : their protestations usually are a brash , 



370 THE STORT OF TICE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

This nauseous brood directly did contain 

The well-extracted blood of Englishmen.” 

Because of an almost bewildering succession of invasions, India 
can at least hold its own in the diversity of its multi-ethnic society. 
It was partly because of the spurious assumption of British racial 
purity and superiority as a part of their artificial Imperial Code that 
the Anglo-Indians, especially of the fairer variety, tried to escape by 
claiming to be European. They failed to realise that there is no 
such thing as national or race purity. There has not been a pure 
race or nation for ten thousand years. Race mixture, in fact mis- 
cegenation, represents the biological history of mankind. I have 
referred to Cedric Dover’s dictum, which is scientifically true, that 
“There are no half-castes because there are no full-castes.” The 
history not only of Europe but of every conquering nation is the 
history of energetic mongrels. 

In every department of life it is the good hybrid that is the most 
enduring, the most fertile and of the finest quality. The most sought 
after and the best milk producers in the Country are the hybrid 
cows, which might be called Anglo-Indian. Today, as part of 
India’s programme to meet the food deficiency resort is being had 
increasingly to the hybrid varieties of wheat and other cereals. 
Facile prejudice against the so-called hybrid stems from ignorance 
or the historical and biological processes. Agriculturist scientists, 
cattle-breeders and experimenting geneticists arc constantly proving 
the superiority of the hybrid variety. This simple, scientific truth 
has yet to dawn on race-conscious historians and pretentious 
biologists. 

I have referred in the Introduction to the dictum of Lord Olivier, 
the famous scientist, that persons or mixed blood are potentially the 
most competent vehicles of humanity. It depends on what level 
and at what stage of civilization the mixture takes place. If the 
off-spring is the product of a low-class British Tommy and a servant 
woman the result is not likely to be a competent vehicle of humanity. 
But where intermarriage has been at middle-class or at upper- 
middle class level, the offspring have more than held their own with 
the finest types of the so-called unmixed races, white or brown. 
This quality has been exemplified in the history of the Anglo-Indian 
Community. It is also significant that Hindus from the middle or 



373 

Tt,r. SOCIM. A ''! 1 Tlir- PSYCHOLOGICAL rATITP'- 

tot self-help of the average is the absence 

Implicit in the reference to 6 - lllc average Anglolndian 

of qualities which ,h ' ''““'Jr .Anglolndian show's fright, » no' 
pmLes ot should possess- « “ * £ , of ,he Country, 

prepared .0 accept the t, gouts ot 

ot intrigues, it is said he is not a g Anglo-Indians are certain often 
Related to this talk »r S cnm “ S , ht „ i,_at least there seas 
facile, and invalid, assumptions- kjn* . w „ dU> „, in the South 

for deeadcs-the assumption * „„ meet, an element 

ssere ofthe very dark varte^Und [o „ ; lha , „ unde - 
sehich is sometimes almost L fc* £ ravi dian ethmc eondt- 
standahie in the contest of an tnes.ta 

tioning. . , I led a delegation of Ang o 

As 1 have mentioned elsewhere, j aVl aharlal Nehru in 

Indian rrineipal. and Edueat.omU. •» ^ ,J,e wtde 

1960. I do not think even jawa I l0 the “Me-hued. 

colour spectrum from the blond, N»« « typc! „.„ e standmg 

As it happened two complete ' introduced them to Nehru: one twas 

_1 !.U rar.ll Other when I jntrouu possessed a 


blond, indlstinguisliaoic irom j in a moment — 

Nubian darkness. I »» ^™^f^er of Urn Nubian-complex- 
controlled surpnse, and yet the g 

ioned Anglo-Indian ssus a oI tb e Community are : from 

In fact, some or the fattest for US lovely 

the South. As a matter of Tact, Ba P ^ flliah> a colleague of 

Anglo-Indian girb. Not long “g-” r Mi„utee.rU.n Mysote S ate, 
mine in Parliament, at one ume PALlnditsn girls in Bangalore 
referred to the sheer b ”"' y ° usually went to the enema 

He said that as students >" c | oll 'f' . t„dian girb. I should men- 
just to stare at the good-looking „;,h the Commuiuty. 

tion that Bangalore was a popul settled there, especially 

Families from every part of 

after the retirement or the father- 

dceenl And Some Differ™" 1 , uh sneaking society, there are 

A, in Britain or, indeed i. ‘ 

differences of accent in the Aed of the chee-chee ae 

pretentious way, Bntishau generalisation. 

of tbe Community. This is a S 



372 


THE STORE Or THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNTIT 


defensive front for their lineage, or lack of it, shrouded in lrredcem 
able mystery. Once again, it is a reflection of the poor-white psy 
chology of the so-called white nations with so little to fortify 00 
selves psychologically that they cling pathetically to all manner o 
spurious attitudes. . , 

As I have said in another chapter, the Community, because it 
been endogamous for generations, emerged with certain common 

identifiable characteristics described as homozygosity. 

a tendency even in the Community to distinguish between aq ' 
features, which arc supposed to be of Aryan origin, and the mor^ 
squat, broad-nosed features said to be possessed by Goans an 
ethnic groups in die South. This assumption is not genera V ' 
because many Goans and South Indians have the most delicate > 
chiselled features. 


Apart from a number of persons having so-called Goan 
among the Community can also be found families with "■ 
commonly known as Armenian and Jewish names. The Arm 
were treated by the East India Company as Europeans. A numoer 
of them intermarried with the Community and were assimilated 
it. Thus there arc Anglo-Indians with such names as Chater an 
Seth. Jewish names are also not uncommon in the Comm un,t f| 
especially such as Jacob, Sampson and Solomon. This is not a 
new phenomenon. A look at the telephone directory in London 
w.U show whole lists or persons with similar names who have been 
mu ated io the British nation. Among those who claim to 
foim^ Bmish even such names as Bose and Dutt are to 
multi 13 a . usual Pattern of assimilation in any multi-racial’ 
Indians t C * < * ciet >'- Throughout British Indian history Ang o* 
What r*\» ,CVCb WCre “sbnilated to the British nation, 
eum-racial' ” Cy rc ^ crret ^ to as adulteration was a natural biologi 
the Comm™^ eSS T1 TI ’ c persons who accreted were assimilated to 
level because th accrc, ' ons become undesirable at the lowest 

n0t desira ^e thC assimiIa,ion is usually either not possible or 

!? Vct : this class !® * Ccrction « when it takes place at the lowest 
anfrv** the accretim* f 3 draf * on the Community for, in that 
tism a ^tributes of the cf"* “ n0t ^undated to the way of life 
’ nd atl absence off' the te is a tendency to paras** 
e ‘reliance, independence and capacity 





375 


.** :':::z*t 

tfiSSi data. r'^"„t S*^. cul.u"= to" 

" w ‘-ks;e 

that or to successively in" eommumcated .«! 

finement and hospitality seems to I 
Community in the South. 

AUeetd Social Exclusiveness d to the *nos«" 

In his Autobiography >™^^ mro „nity ■o'"" 1 ’ *" r f f t 
altitude of some memben ot to^™" ^ , hi! ...todej^ 

found among poor-whites superiority is the CO leJJer . 

where their only claim to a p fMnd specially anu> g 
shin. This arrogance was to i “ f ^ rhspamgmg'y ‘ ‘ j„ 

educated ■ S«-» to in 

S,uTw"enL . had m r3 -£ ^unities in an 

ros^oLV^„ s d ^"'«fs^ 

Some peripatetic. ^'^vha. they hn**^^ 
arrogance in the ,1 '"‘ ^ r Indian cominum discrimi- 

I, that in common with 'he «to Against acts of bnusn 

Indian, often resented to IhmsKJ^ ^ «£“*,. 

nation the resentment w ^-ounger Anglo- 11 ’ ro d uc ing 

mite Barmrdsl- Soe.a'ly. to ^i.h to Con»»n-^„ to „ 

ally, resented the Bntnh “'“"^ntey, the 

some of the finest boseis ™ * ( ^ British soldier. 

could more than hold is President of the J" 1^ h loca i 

On one occasion, « te »’ "“^running a func"°" “ bem een 
of the Association, the !■""*«. ^ „ , rose 

Railway Institute. w 



374 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

saying that the British Nation has a Cockney accent. Accent in the 
Community varies from stratum to stratum and also from North to 
South. There is often a noticeable difference between the accents 
of the Anglo-Indians from the North and the South. In the South 
there is a tendency for the accent to be conditioned by the intona- 
tion and the inflexions of the local language. The Anglo-Indians 
in the North are inclined to refer to the accent of the Anglo-Indians 
in the South as a Madrasi accent. This again is an untenable 
generalisation. Among the lesser-educated members of the Com- 
munity in the South there is a noticeable difference in the accent. 
Then again, in the Kolar Gold Fields, where there is an apprecia- 
ble number of Anglo-Indians, the accent is rather different : there 
the dropping of the ‘h’ and the 'g' is suggestive of the accent in the 
old British regiments. 

When I was a student in Britain, I spent one of my holidays in 
Wales. Apart from finding the Welsh people generally delightful 
and friendly, I felt that I was among Anglo-Indians. I was invited 
to a private dance where there were over 500 people present. I have 
seldom enjoyed myself more. Apart from the fact that several of 
the Welshmen were sporting my surname, so many of them looked 
like Anglo-Indians. I asked some of them whether they were from 
India. But to them India was merely a name. I thought they were 
Anglo-Indians: they thought that I was Welsh. I do not know 
whether their accent was like mine or mine like theirs. The accent 
of the Anglo-Indians has an intonation very much like that of the 
Welsh. I thought that our colloquialism in school, “I say, mon,” 
was an original Anglo-Indianism. After my visit to Wales I realised 
that it had probably come via the Welsh. 

As the leader of the Community, I have noticed certain differ- 
ences between the Anglo-Indians in the South and the rest of the 
Country. My wife has noticed this especially, and commented 
upon it often. The Anglo-Indians in the South are extremely 
warm-hearted. When we tour, we are treated with hospitality 
wherever we go, but in the South the hospitality is overwhelming. 
Whatever part of the day or night our train halts at a station, we 
are plied with well-stocked tiffin-baskets, coffee flasks and so on. Al- 
though we may have just had breakfast from the dining car, at the 
next station we are presented with a lavish breakfast. And we dare 
not refuse to do justice to this second breakfast, as our people are 



377 


TU,. ««M. AKD TtOI 

munity’s lack of social c “ n “ ct ™ ,he f 

tedly, Ita » » ” ti0 „, cental '» "'™' bc ” °[ 

seme .to many of m «»> io „ lw „ of .he soc * 

the Community. Hu* *to"“ longing .» » P“>““* r 

pattern in .ho Coun.ty, '' h T, tend to keep m tbemse'sm. 

community ora particular , octal ]» most sociable of all .ho 

in fan, Anglo-Indian, arc perto^ ^ by |bc Commum.y 

Indian communities. Even ”} . . by members of other com- 

.here i. a heavy demand for ..hid. .. an aeuv.ty 

munities. Thu. the C.dney Club, . ^ lniill Anoemu™, 
of the Delhi Branch of the All- bili „, especially Hindu" 

to a number ofmemben di!m club, under con,..- 

and Sikhs. Because it IS an Angi „ full members: non- 

tu.ion only Anglo-Indians or ^mei-ne roembm. Some- 

Anglo-Indians can be e.lher , ' 0 "°"2„ n ,mcnt shosm by non-Anglo- 
times, .here to been a sense of is because 

Indian, a. .hi, " ^”e them U an a.mo.phere 

of the constitution of the auD. 

of complete camaraderie in the AssociaUou, only member, 
Admittedly, a. functions held by bu , for 6 „eral fun 

of .he Community are permuted o ^ aiaa . The Anglo- 

tions— Mcials and dances . , . ^Indians who wish 10 1 1 01 " 

Indian members feel daughter. s*nh • 

social functions should bung „ the 
those who do, join in ,h ' 5 students tn Delhi- 

I remember meeting a body «f " “ them w* rto 

mentioned that the only Ind. »■» ' lhmc „ho could P*» 

friendlinew svere the especially the Hmdus, 

for Europeans: the other . r prejudice, 

treated them with ill^oncea ed cd° ** socia lly 

S55L h toe 

snecial case because of my father P jj communities. 

ST^i, Patient ‘ 

When we were in college, a 



376 THE STORE OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

some young Anglo-Indian firemen and British soldiers who had 
gate-crashed into the Institute bar. When I arrived in the bar 
the scene was in some respects amusing. Standing against the wall 
was a well-known Anglo-Indian driver, a light heavyweight 
champion who was then in his forties and known for his quiet and 
Self-effacing manner. Four British soldiers, who were using foul 
language in varying degress of obscenity, were told by this driver 
that if they persisted in their bad behaviour they would be atomis- 
ed by the young Anglo-Indian firemen. To prevent that happening 
he offered to take them on, one at a time. The Tommies, charac- 
terised more by brashness than a sense of discretion, agreed, conjur- 
ing up visions of perhaps wiping the floor with this middle-aged 
driver. A ring of spectators was formed, outside the bar, and then, 
believe it or not, this driver within the space of a few minutes 
knocked out all of them, one at a time. 

This kind of tension between the young Anglo-Indians and the 
British soldiers was not infrequent. On the eve of Independence 
I was addressing a crowded meeting of Anglo-Indians at Vizaga- 
patnam. The British soldiers of the local battalion sought to 
gate-crash during the dance. Immediately the Anglo-Indians 
or the Coastal Battery, which had been embodied during World 
War II, asked my permission to clear out the 'Limeys’. I advised 
them not to precipitate an unnecessary row. Unfortunately, after 
the function the Tommies and the Anglo-Indians clashed and the 
Tommies took a sound thrashing. I received a long complaint 
from the local British Commandant. 

Towards the end of 1946 I referred in the Central Legislature 
to the raid by British soldiers on the Jhansi Railway Institute. 
It was decided by the Anglo-Indians of Jhansi not to admit any 
British soldiers to their Xmas function. In spite of this some soldiers 
gate-crashed and were thrown out by the Anglo-Indians- The sol- 
diers went back and organised an attack on the Institute. Armed 
with bayonets and knuckle-dusters they attacked the Institute and 
assaulted some of the women and girls, injuring several Anglo- 
Indian men who resisted them with bare fists. The wanton des- 
truction to property was calculated at over fifteen thousand rupees. 
My questions in the Legislature caused a furore in the press and 
resulted m compensation being paid to the Institute. 

uc ignorant nonsense has also been written about the Com- 



37D 


be Anglo*Indian*^l.o '“? ,£ 

Sought .to the Anglo-Indian, ’!”" J^nccssions. H* A"*- 
<la„ merely M get a /\ m ™'" b u.inn, tr> India and they are 
Indian, are cotwlon. of >**”“* hillm y, .he Community has 
aha coroctou, Out, threats , and leadership- 

been la the fro* rank ” f “ h “Tnrere accepted either by the 
For 300 years the Terms.. wer " ,„ du „. Unfortunately 

Government or the Community as 1 rf ^ ^ An B lo-lndU" 

some ambition. Feting. lerarlmrs, j^gi.laturcs, bcga 

safeguards, especially repm™«n°" ™ „* number of Ang fo- 

,0 mke increasingly absurd claim, hbout a bou. ,955 

Indian, in Kerala. Ttase elatm, be^- ^ „ wlut ,he FcrlW 
Actually, the Commum.y did no. I was fon"^, ‘ 1 “’ 

acre. An investigation was nude * “ bim . be of dimly damn 
vthile a handful of three ®»* » •«* majority would appea 
Portuguree descent, the ««"£*»»€ a „ d the poorest eta* 
to be converts from among labourc rs and others, 
fuhermen, rope-mahets, landin’ taued ,o be a pa« ° 

not surprising, therefore, that tey nJ elassdied 

lowest stratum of the Indtan Chrt... ^ 

backward class. . according to the 1 

The investigation also showed that, Anglo-Induo 

for Cochin, there had been a I ™ ^ Gommhsioner observ'd, 
from 2182 to 1717. Even then the ^ „ r0 „ g ly return 

referring to the Feting.., that. ^ J idc „ b!c numbers ret 
themselves as Anglo-Indtans. whde ^ Feri „ gl , are not 

Feringi or Indian Chris..*" " 1 included in the 
shown separately in the , Ijld ians are therefor 

Chrisdans. The .tausne. of Anglo- 

rate and misleading. Cochin, the Comnu»'° n > 

In the 1941 Census report « f[om 17l7> 1931, “ 

menting on the phrnomrna t ^^ - ncrcase ; n the popu number 
in 1941, observed. The ab Tab , e i. due to a la g : 

Anglo-Indians seen in part B f * as Fermgts 

or Latin Catholic Chruttan. fondly 



378 THE STORY OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

several of us — were on the friendliest of terms with students of every 
other community. We were college pals, often spending our 
holidays in one another’s homes. There was, indeed, great res- 
pect for the Anglo-Indian student. I had the privilege of being 
the President of the College Literary and Debating Society. I 
had the privilege to represent my College — Robertson College — 
at the Inter-College University debates, three years in succession. 
I was also fortunate to win the University championship for my 
College in all three years. When I was awarded the coveted 
Viceroy’s Gold Medal for the best English essay in the All-India 
Inter-University contest, I was lionized by my colleagues — perhaps 
more than any Hindu student would have been. Today, with 
the Anglo-Indian schools, unlike the position in our time, having 
a majority of non-Anglo-Indian pupils, the Anglo-Indians are 
growing up without any of the inhibitions of their parents. 

Vis-A-Vis Some Other Communities 

It is a little strange perhaps, but there has not been much love 
lost between the Anglo-Indians and the Indian Christians. I feel 
this tendency in the Community, of looking with a certain disdain 
at the Indian Christians, is due to the fact that Anglo-Indians, 
who are Christians by origin, do not think much of those who are 
Christians by conversion. 

Yet this cannot be stated as a general proposition. The better- 
placed Anglo-Indians are not given to the prejudices of the less- 
educated members who, like the British women, judged 
other commuruties by the servants they employed. A number 
of Anglo-Indians do considerable work for their respective 
churches. In this field they have close and cordial relations with 
leading members of the Indian Christian Community. I some- 
times cannot help feeling that there is a certain resentment on the 
part of certain members of the Indian Christian Community, 
including Bishops, because of the attitude of superciliousness by 
some of the lesser-educated Anglo-Indians towards the Indian 
Christians. The relations of the Community with certain sections 
oflndianChristians have always been friendly, especially with those 
referred to as Goans and the tribal Christians in North-East India. 

The sense of self-respect in the Community was outraged by the 
c ims of the Feringis of Kerala who, while suddenly claiming to 



THE SOCIAL AND THE KTCHOLOC1CAL PATTERN 381 

to be discordant, by repudiating the Fcringis. I told him that it is 
difficult for a person who is not an Anglo-Indian to appreciate the 
position, because it involves the history of the Community, its in- 
ner thinking and feeling. It had been argued by one or two mem- 
bers in Parliament that the Fcringis claimed to be of Portuguese 
descent and since the definition of the term Anglo-Indian was posi- 
ted on European descent, therefore, the Fcringis were Anglo-Indians 
I told my Brahmin friend tliat if I emulated this kind of tortuous 
semantics, I could argue tliat the Brahmins are Indians and are also 
Hindus, and that the Bhangis are equally good Indians and Hindus 
that, therefore, a Brahmin is a Bhangi. He said nothing, but look- 
ed at me with pained surprise. I apologised and said that was pre- 
cisely what was being offered to the Community, a wanton, deliber- 
ate affront. People who never had anything to do with us through- 
out our history while suddenly claiming to be Anglo-Indians also 
sought, in the view of the Community, to degrade it into a back- 
svard class of Indian Christians. 

The Linguistic census, however, has given the quietus to the false 
claims by the Fcringis. By all means let these good people continue 
to get the benefits of a backward class of Indian Christians. But, 
also, let them pursue their own way of life, which they have done 
apparently for centuries, during which they had nothing in common 
either with the history of the Community, its way of life or its con- 
tribution to India. 

leadership 

In many ways the Anglo-Indians are highly respected and accept- 
ed, even before members of other communities, for positions of 
leadership, especially as officers in the Armed Forces. This has 
been true throughout its history. In the professions, especially in 
the time or my father and grandfather, Anglo-Indians were often 
in a dominant position. For many years the Jubbulpore bar, one 
of the most prosperous bars in the Country, was dominated by Anglo- 
Indian lawyers. Dr. Mendes was, in fact, the first lawyer from 
India to take his LL.D. from Cambridge. After his time, Anglo- 
Indian lawyers, especially my grandfather John Francis Anthony 
and Wrixon were leaders of the bar. Later there svas William 
Pasley, a blond, blue-eyed Anglo-Indian oser six feet in height. 
Pasley started life as a sergeant of Police: he then got into the pro- 



330 THE STORT Or T1IB ANGLO-INDtAM COiBfUNITT 

the position even more clear : it pointed out that these persons of 
Travancore-Cochtn had been, “Mistakenly classed as Anglo-Indi- 
ans." The Report also pointed out that Malayalam was the 
language of the Feringis and that, “They could not secure special 
privileges during the British rule as the Anglo-Indians did." 

Gidncy also faced a similar probtem. There was also an element 
known as Fcringis in Chittagong and along the East Bengal coastal 
area. Those Fetingis tried to be included in the 1931 Anglo- 
Indian Census but Gidncy indignantly repudiated their new-found 
claim : as a result the Fcringis of East Bengal were not included as 
Anglo-Indians in the 1931 Census. 

As I have said in another chapter, because of the false claims of 
the renngis of Kerala the All-India Anglo-Indian Association de- 
cided not to make an issue of the Government decision to eliminate 
the community designation from the 1961 Census. The Community 
is still identified by its mother-tongue, English. The 1961 Censushas 
thus put the position in Kerala in proper perspective. According 
to this Census there are about 7000 persons in Kerala who have 
English as their mother-tongue. This would give an adult popula- 
tion of Anglo-Indians in Kerala as 1000 to 1500, which represents 
the correct figure. As in the rest of India, persons of Portuguese 
descent have intermarried with the Community: this is what has 
happened in the case of the small number of Anglo-Indians In 
Kerala. 

An outsider may think that the attitude of the Community 
towards the Teringis was prompted by communalism. Yet it would 
be correct to say that, perhaps, we arc the least communal body of 
persons in India. We are certainly the least caste-conscious Com- 
munity in the Country where caste unfortunately still plays a domi- 
nant role. Our attitude has nothing to do with communalism. It 
is a matter not only of ordinary self-respect but, for a microscopic 
minority, one of survival. Every community has the right to be 
proud of itself, while every Indian has the right to be proud of being 
an Indian. 

Perl taps what the Anglo-Indians feel can be best illustrated by the 
com ersation which I had, shortly after my speech in the Lok Sabha 
condemning the fraudulent claim of the Fcringis, with a Brahmin 
friend. He asked me why, when the Country had set itself the goal 
of a casteless, classless society, I should strike an attitude that seemed 



THE SOCftt AND THE PSTCHOtOCIClL PATTERN 387 

Through the darkness of the past 
When the gods liad fought their battles. 

And the priests created caste. 

When the Vedas formed the gospel. 

And the minstrels sang their song, 

When the Koran &. the Bible, 

Built the creed of right & wrong. 

5. Years of patient toil and suffering 
Neath the alien’s iron heel 

l Vo re out millions of our people 
In the hoop or Empire’s wheel; 

Gone, the dap of slavish serfdom. 

Dap of blindness, svant and woe. 

Let us grasp the hand of Freedom, 

India free for evermore! 

6. Sons of India! rise from slumber! 

Till the Gelds and rake the soil. 

Work your factories, make your engines, 

Leam to labour and to toil. 

Make your ships to sail the waten, 

Make your planes fly far and wide. 

Learn to govern wise and justly. 

That peace forever may abide. 

7. Let us sing the song of nations. 

We are one, and we arc free. 

We have won our Independence 
Over all our land and sea. 

Let us pray for strength & guidance. 

Courage, wisdom, knowledge, might. 

May Almighty God above us 
Lead us & defend our right. 

BASIL NORTON 

Mrs. Rose, a member of the Governing Body of the All-India 
Anglo-Indian Association, greeted the National flag. 



THE SOCJ U. ANU THE PSTCHOLOGJCAE PATTERN 387 

Through the darkness of the past 
When the gods liad fought their battles. 

And the priests created caste. 

When the Vedas formed the gospel. 

And the minstrels sang their song, 

When the Koran & the Bible, 

Built the creed of right & wrong. 

5. Years of patient toil and suffering 
Neath the alien’s iron heel 
Wore out millions of our people 
In the hoop of Empire's wheel; 

Gene, the days of slavish serfdom. 

Days of blindness, want and woe. 

Let us grasp the hand of Freedom, 

India free for evermore! 

6. Sons oflndia! rise from slumber! 

Till the fields and rake the soil. 

Work your factories, make your engines. 

Leant to labour and to toil. 

Make your ships to sail the waters, 

Make your planes fly far and wide. 

Learn to govern wise and justly, 

That peace forever may abide. 

7. Let us sing the song of nations. 

We are one, and we are free. 

We have won our Independence 
Over all our land and sea. 

Let us pray for strength & guidance, 

Courage, wisdom, knowledge, might. 

May Almighty God above us 
Lead us & defend our right. 

BASIL NORTON 

Mrs. Rose, a member of the Governing Body of the All-India 
Anglo-Indian Association, greeted the National flag. 



386 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Malta Bharat— Great India 
Song Of Independence 

I . Land of greatness, Land of glory , 

Motherland of ancient lore, 

Land of mountains, land of rivers 
Land of Wealth’s perpetual store. 

Home of millions of earth’s peoples 
Sheltered in thy vast expanse. 

Peoples bom of thee O’ Mother, 

Heritage of circumstance. 

Refrain 

March in freedom, March in progress, 

Indians never will be slaves, 

Conquerors come and pass forever, 

With their burden to their graves. 

God Almighty bless our India, 

Save her children from all woe, 

Make them strong and give them wisdom 
Be our guide for evermore. 

2. From the snow-clad Nanda Devi, 

To the point at Comerin’s Cape, 

And across the East & West seas. 

Marking out the Country’s shape. 

Peoples or all climes & speeches, 

Worshipping at divers shrines, 

Children, all of Mother India, 

Stamped with Mother India’s lines. 

3. Give us leaders brave and loyal, 

Men of brawn, and men of fire. 

Men who build, and men who labour, 

Not for selfish gain or hire. 

Let no creed or party slogan 
Lead us in disruptive strife. 

Let the flag of India’s Union 
Unify our peoples’ life. 

4. Through the dim historic ages, 



THE SOCJ KV AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PATTERN 387 

Through the darkness or the past 
When the gods had fought their battles. 

And the priests created caste. 

When the Vedas formed the gospel, 

And the minstrels sang their song, 

When the Koran & the Bible, 

Built the creed of right &l wrong. 

5. Years of patient toil and suffering 
Neath the alien's iron heel 
Wore out millions of our people 
In the hoop or Empire’s wheel; 

Gone, the days of slavish serfdom. 

Days of blindness, want and hot. 

Let us grasp the hand of Freedom, 

India free for cvennorcl 

6. Sons of India! rise from slumber! 

Till the Skids and rake the soil. 

Work your factories, make your engines, 

Ixam to labour and to toil. 

Make your ships to sail the waters, 

Make your planes fly far and wide. 

Learn to govern wise and justly, 

That peace forever may abide. 

7. Let us sing the song of nations. 

We are one, and we are free. 

We have won our Independence 
Over all our land and sea. 

Let us pray for strength & guidance, 

Courage, wisdom, knowledge, might. 

May Almighty God above us 
Lead us & defend our right. 

BASIL NORTON 

Mrs. Rose, a member of the Governing Body of the All-India 
Anglo-Indian Association, greeted the National flag. 



388 THE STORY OP THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Flag Of Our Motherland 

Flag of our Motherland, flag of the free 
Our loyalty here we pledge to thee 
Saffron and white and green unfurled, 

Bear it aloft O winds of the world. 

Father of all, we lift our eyes 

As a new year dawns in the Eastern skies 

Grant us O Lord the strength we pray 

To lead mankind to a better day 

When wars throughout the earth shall cease, 

And men shall live in eternal peace. 


H. ROSE 

The Community is not given to parading its loyalty or patriotism, 
but, in crisis after crisis, including those that have overtaken the 
Country since Independence, our loyalty and patriotism, tested in 
the crucible of war, have been at least equal to that of any other 
community. While there have been cases of espionage and cowar- 
dice in other communities there has never been one such case 
brought against an Anglo-Indian. 

Especially during the Indo-Pakistan conflict the upsurge of pa- 
triotic fervour in the Community was heart-warming. Anglo- 
Indians were as emotionally involved as any other community and 
as anxious to help in every way possible. Love of the ‘Old Coun- 
try’ is marked among Anglo-Indians who have emigrated. Thus 
when my wife and I were in the U.K. in 1964 and the Anglo- 
Indians in London came to know that we were there, we were in- 
undated with requests to attend functions organised by members of 
the Community. Because of the short time at my disposal, I had 
to decline these requests. I attended only one meeting which was 
organised by members of the Community at the International Tea 
Centre in Oxford Street. The love and the nostalgia for India are 
still very much there especially among the older members of the 
Community. Inevitably, the youngsters will grow up in a different 
milieu and be assimilated to a different psychology. Another 
noticeable feature is the sense of identity among members of the 
Community who have emigrated. 



THE SOCIAL AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PATTERN 


389 


Some members of the Community have made exiles of themselves 
for several reasons. Thus, my elder brother migrated to the U.K. 
with a heavy heart : lie did so because of the foreign exchange posi- 
tion which prevented him from sending his sons for further studies 
overseas. By emigrating he was able to give his sons the best of edu- 
cational opportunities which have ensured their securing gainful em- 
ployment. Psychologically he lias never been happy. After the 
sons liad completed their education and made their own life, he and 
his wife returned to India. Bur then he woj confronted with the 
almost typical, ‘Babu’ attitude that marks so much of Government 
functioning. He was told that he could not get his pension in India 
unless he repatriated all the money he had taken out of the Country. 
To say the least, it was an extraordinary proposition, as this policy 
was based on the assumption that he had lived in the U.K. for 5 
years on air and that ail the money he had taken out of the Country 
was intact. Because he was refused his pension in India, he was 
compelled to return to the U.K. where he gets his pension not in 
rupees, but in sterling ! 

Except for the Anglo-Indians who continue to delude themselves, 
the large majority know that they cannot reach lop positions in the 
U.K-, Australia or indeed in any white country except for a few who 
might pass for Europeans. The children certainly secure gainful 
employment. In terms of money they earn more than they would 
do in India. But they realise that the top jobs are reserved for the 
indigences and that the colour and race barriers will be drawn 
rigidly at cenain levels. I constantly receive letters from Anglo- 
Indians in the U.K. w ho complain of the upsurge of race and colour 
discrimination there. 

Finest Opportunities 

What I have said to the Community from the very beginning of 
my leadership has materialised. I always believed, and said so 
repeatedly, that the Anglo-Indians, as Anglo-Indians, would get 
their finest opportunities in Independent India. In pre-Independ- 
ence days like members of other communities and, in fact, more so, 
the walls of discrimination were drawn firmly around the Commu- 
nity. Few, if any, Anglo-Indians were ever allowed to become heads 
of departments, whatever their capacity and qualifications. I re- 
member after my scathing indictment of Beverley Nichols’ exercise 



390 THE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

in scatology and malice in his ‘Verdict on India’, my speech was 
applauded in Parliament. Hussan Suhrawardy, brother of Shaheed 
Suhrawardy, former Chief Minister of Bengal, rushed up to me and 
said that while 1 had said a good deal, he could tell me of yet an- 
other instance of deliberate British discrimination. Suhrawardy 
had been a senior official on the then East Indian Railway. He 
mentioned how a highly qualified Anglo-Indian, with some of the 
finest overseas degrees, had been recommended as Chief Medical 
Officer. The British General Manager was, however, not prepared 
to accept him because he was an Anglo-Indian. Yet after Inde- 
pendence more than one Anglo-Indian has become a Chief Medical 
Officer. Thus, Colin Roberston was first Chief Medical Officer of 
the G.I.P- Railway and then came to Delhi as the Chief Medical 
Officer of the Northern Railway. 

Immediately after Independence the Community got very special 
opportunities. Replying to a question by me in the Legislature the 
then Defence Minister, Sardar Baldev Singh, stated that from August 
of 1947 to February, 1948, the number of Anglo-Indians recruited 
in the officer cadres for the R.I.N. was 50 per cent for the R.I.A.F. 
28 per cent and for the Army 26 per cent. Addressing the Commu- 
nity after Independence, I mentioned that within 2 years of Indepe- 
ndence, Anglo-Indians had been given, increasingly, positions which 
they had never held in 200 years or British rule. Apart from 
the numbers in the officer cadres of the Armed Forces, over 20 Anglo- 
Indians were selected for the superior administrative service which 
had taken the place of the Indian Civil Service. Shortly after In- 
dependence, Piggott was selected to represent the Indian Air Force 
in the U.K. and was awarded the coveted trophy as the best Air 
Force cadet in the Commonwealth. 

Many Anglo-Indians after Independence have found their metier 
especially in the Armed Forces. In pre- Independence days the most 
an Anglo-Indian could become was a Major in the I.M.D. (B.C.) 
Since Independence Anglo-Indians have found positions of trust, 
in every sphere, commensurate with their ability and character. 

The first Anglo-Indian to be promoted to the rank of Lt. General* 
after Independence, was Henderson Brooks. A talk between Krishna 
Mcnon, the then Defence Minister, and myself, however, indica- 
ted a certain quirk in official thinking. Meeting me in the 
lobby of Parliament, Krishna Menon mentioned that I would be 



THE SOCIAL AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PATTERN 391 

glad lo hear iliat Henderson Brooks was being promoted to the rank 
of Lt. General : and then he added, “But the fellow has not one but 
two European names.” I w as not amused by tire tail-piece and ask- 
ed him whether he expected him to have two Hindu names ! 

Incidentally, in his younger days, Henderson Brooks was one of 
the top tennis pta>ers in the Country. Readers will recall the 
enquiry into die reasons which Jed to die NEFA debacle in 1962. 
Henderson Brooks was awarded the Vishishlli Seva Medal Class I 
for his work on dial particular enquiry. The citation reads, “Lt. 
Gen. J.U. 1 Icndcnon Brooks was given the difficult task of investigat- 
ing the reasons for our failure in the campaign against the Chinese in 
1962. Due to his tact, eye foe detail and devotion to duty, the 
General Officer was responsible foe producing a most commendable 
and excellent report which has been of die greatest assistance to the 
Indian Army. For his sterling services to the country in this very 
delicate matter, he has been awarded die VSM Class I.” 

There was a general feeling, especially in Parliament, tliat the 
report was forthright and revealing, so revealing, indeed, that the 
Government has not dared to allow its publication. This is part of 
the unfortunate tendency in the Government not to take even Par- 
liament into confidence in military matters and to sweep under the 
carpet our mistakes, especially in defence matters. 

Lt. Gen. Pat Dunn, the Corps Commander in the Sialkat area 
during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, is one of the finest fighting Generals 
that India has produced. It is significant that during (he critical 
Indo- Pakistan conflict about 20 per cent of die Group Captains, about 
30 per cent of the Wing Commanders and about 30 per cent of the 
Squadron Leaders in the Air Force were Anglo-Indians. In the 
Army Anglo-Indians held and continue to hold many key positions. 

But for the exodus of some of our most senior people, including 
officers in the Navy, Air Force and Army, many of die top poses in 
the Country, today, would be held by Anglo-Indians. Even then 
In die Army we liave, today, four Major-Generals : Robert Williams, 
Director General of Inspection; Regie Noronha, M.G., Vishishth 
Seva Medal Class I, with the reputation of being one of India’s 
finest fighting geucrals; Edgar Pettengell of the Signals; and Frank 
Larkins, Director of Weapons. The number of Anglo-Indian 
officers in the Air Force is still appreciable. Maurice Barker is an 
ASc Vice-Marshal. Recently, Commodore Cameron of the Navy, 



392 


THE STORY OF THE ANGUVINDIAK COMMUNITY 


the Managing Director of Hindustan Shipyard Ltd., was promoted 
to Rear Admiral. . . . 05 , 

Leslie Johnson of the I.C.S. is the Chairman of the important Oil 
and Natural Gas Commission . Several Anglo-Indians are today m 
senior positions as members of the I.A.S. A. K. Barren, who was 
awarded the M.C. during the Burma fighting, was one of the seve- 
ral members of the Community selected for the I.A.S. after Inde- 
pendence. Barren, today, is Chief Secretary to the Orissa Govern- 
ment. K.A P. Stevenson is Joint Secretary in the Planning Commis- 
sion; Barker is Secretary to a department of the U.P. Government. 

Eustace Wilson, settled in Bangalore, retired a few years ago as 
Surveyor-General of India. He was the first Anglo-Indian to hold 
this post and the second Indian to do so after Independence. He was 
the first civilian to be appointed Surveyor-General of India after 
.195 years of the existence of the Survey of India Department: 
before that the post was always held by a Military officer. 

Melville de Mellow has been described as an institution in him- 
self. He is, today, the Chief Feature Pioducer of All-India Radio 
and is known not only to millions of Indian listeners but has achieve 
not a little international fame. He won a scholarship to the B.B. • 
in 1948. In 1960 he was awarded the Czechoslovak International 
Radio Documentary Peace Prize for the feature ‘Garden of Peace . 
In 1963, he was decorated with the Padma Shri for distinguished 
service in the field of broadcasting. In 1964 he was awarded t e 
blue riband of world broadcasting, the Italia Prize, for the feature 
‘Lali and the Lions of Gir’. 

de Mellow joined All-India Radio after having been an officer 
in the Indian Army. He has an inimitable elan, an inspira- 
tional style which at once fascinates and arrests the interest of his 
listeners. For their strong national fervour and stirring emotional 
appeal his broadcasts during the Indo-Pakistan conflict were wort 
several divisions in the maintenance of civilian morale. Since de 


Mellow came by way of the army, I should imagine that he did not 
have too much formal education. Yet when I listen to him on AU- 


India Radio, I get the impression of a perfectionist, of one who is 
constantly seeking to achieve the attributes of artistry in his 


profession. 

Cyril Stracey held a permanent commission in the Indian Army 
from 1937 to 1946: he cast his lot in with the I.N.A. in Malaya. 



THE SOCIAL AND »« rA.C.OUXA.CAL FAT^X 


393 


ihc Secretary of the 


O,. release from imprisonment. he ^hMian- 
Central Organisation of dte I-N-A- a. frmca a> and there- 

for a yea, Oon.uhG.mrel for India » “ ^.y a. Wa.hu.g- 

after saved as first Secretary o j waJ pro motcd Course - 

ion. His next posting seal to 1 " h “^“ dcrab l. .lull »hcn the 
lor and acted for the Ambassador or . cd t j,e tort Indian 

latter fell ill. In April. 1%5. he «» Hr. Urea. 

Ambauador to the new-born Repu -rhAireecy brother, have a 
prating il a. Ambassador to Fmtan I. „hose book 'Iteade. 

remarkable record of success- l al htraruj. ^t. Having 
Elephant Hunter' I have referred to earlier, ^ 0 f the 

qualiticd for the Imperial Foret Sen. tec, I p lt .cured 

father, "ho had died "hen die brot > He is now writing 

fairly tecently a. a Chief Coreervator or tore. • ^ before hi. 

hooka. 'Elephant Gold' and Tiger. brother qualified for the 
lateat book on Rcadc. Ralph the «o“J b » ^ Er ic, qualified 
I.C.S. Cyril Straceyi. the third; the f °“ Ga ,eral of Prison, 

forth. Imperial t'olicc and today t. clurpter more 

in the Madra. Sute. A. “ c " U “ cJ J„ il) „ 5 and doing counts 
Anglo-Indian, are qualify ing for the pri.rrs.ton. 
of higher sludic. than ever before. „r Smilo-Indians going into 

It i. aho heartening to see a number ol Ang 

business. . n r the leading busin®^ 611 ° 

Derail D’ Monte of Madras is one of beginnings, he 

-he Communily. SutrUng from' £ %££*»*** & T ”t 
gave up service in 1919 “ ^ Company ha. grow” 

ing Company, with a repnal of Rn «»■ ^ buildmg re an 

from a small trading unit and nouoccup^ Indun Engineering 
important business locality of h lldr “' wholesale supplier, of 
& Trading Company i. cue ""‘''"f^ pSl part.- Tte 
certain specialised component, o Hyderabad and Calcutta- 

Company ha. branches in Madras and .he pre- 

There is a modem fuBy-ripuppcdlh" ^ „ in several 

duct, under the 'DVD' brand have torn 
foreign markets. . r . Madras branch of “ 

Apart fro, n belt, gVice-Fres.dent of theM^ i W ^ „»|ubrtoU 

India Anglo-Indian te0C ^7“',“ “ ^tomac (Mad™) ££ 

activities. He b a Director of Messrs- ^ Rubbers Pr>'»« 

Ltd.. Madras and Bangalore, of Messrs. 



394 THE STORY or THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

Ltd., of Messrs. Automat Plastics Private Ltd., Bangalore, and 
Managing Director of Messrs. Pilot Engines Private Ltd., a newly 
established firm set up to manufacture Auto and Agricultural en- 
gines; he is also a partner of Messrs. Pressure Die Cast Products of 
India, Madras. Last but not least Denzil D’Monte is the owner 
and publisher of “Thondan”, a Tamil weekly of Madras. 

An index of the trust reposed in the Community was the request 
made to me by the Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, in June, 
1967, to accept the Governorship of the Punjab. Mrs, Gandhi 
mentioned that the Punjab is a border, highly strategic State, where 
the political conditions are not easy, and Government wanted some 
one on whose judgment they could rely and who would also have the 
trust of the political groups and parties in the State. White thank- 
ing Mrs. Gandhi for this gesture of trust, I regretted my inability 
to accept the offer. I pointed out to the Prime Minister that I still 
have a great deal of work to do on behalf of the Community. If I 
accepted any kind of Government preferment, the Community 
would feel that I had betrayed the trust that they have so implicitly 
reposed in me. 

Life-Line Of The Community 

The All-India Anglo-Indian Association is the life-line of, the 
Community. The well-being, indeed the very existence of the 
Community is synonymous with the work and achievements of the 
Association. 

The Association has never rested either on its oars or its laurels. 
It is a matter of some interest that it is the oldest Anglo-Indian 
Association in the Country and the only All-India Anglo-Indian 
Association. The original Association, the Eurasian & Anglo- 
Indian Association of which the present All-India Anglo-Indian 
Association is the successor, was inaugurated on Saturday the 16th 
December, 1876, by the Hon’blc Sir Richard Temple, K.C.S.I., 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, who presided at the Town Hall 
Calcutta, over a larger assemblage of the Eurasian Community, as it 
was then known, and Europeans. The Anglo-Indian Empire 
League, which had branches all over India, was the successor of the 
Eurasian & Anglo-Indian Association. 

At a conference held at Allahabad from the 30th December, 19 18> 



THE iOO-U. ASD THE J5TCHOU>CJC*t MTOJW 395 

to the 2nd January, 1919, it was decided that the delegates of the 
Anglo-Indian Empire League and the Anglo-Indian Association 
combine to have a united body to be called, under the new provision, 
the Anglo-Indian & Domiciled European Association. The 
Calcutta Association and the Bengal Provincial Branch of the League 
amalgamated to form the Anglo-Indian £; Domiciled European 
Association of Bengal- Gidney was then the Presiden t-irt-Chief of 
the Anglo-Indian Empire League. 

In ] 926, the Bengal Association changed iu constitution and amal- 
gamated with the Anglo-Indian & Domiciled European Associa- 
tion of India, the successor of the Empire League and of which Gidney 
star the head. When Burma was parr of India the Association 
took on the name of the Anglo-Indian & Domiciled European 
Association, India <1: Burma. After Burma was separated the Asso- 
ciation was known as the All- India Anglo-Indian & Domiciled 
European Association. Ac my instance the words ‘Domiciled 
European’ were dropped in July, 1946. 

When I was elected to succeed Gidney in 1942, in spite of Gidney's 
greatness the Association was in extremely low water fin a nci al l y. 
Although on paper it had about 90 branches, w hich included those 
in what is now Pakistan, the total funds of the Association did not 
run ev en into three figures. Fortunately, I was a bachelor and had 
my own resources. Xot only steadily but rapidly I built up the 
Association infusing new life into the branches and making the 
Associatio n financially viable. A noticeable feature in G idney’s time 
was that, by and large, the better-placed members of the Co mmun ity 
kept out of the Association. This was perhaps due to the feeling 
that they did not require the assistance of the As s ocia tion and the 
complex that socially and officially they were above those who 
joined, especially the raituaymen- Within a few years, I was able to 
change this complex. Today, it would be correct to say that very 
lew of the better-placed Anglo-Indians are outside the Associauoa- 

Anoihcr significant feature is that, in spite of the exodus of many 
thousands of Anglo-Indians, the Association today is stronger in 
membership and resources than, it has ever been throughout its long 
history. At a conservative estimate, more than half the Commu- 
nity, if the families are included, are within the fold of the Associa- 
tion. That by any standards makes the Association uniquely re- 
presentative- Those who are not members are either the uncm- 



390 T1IE STORY OF THE ANGLO-INDIAN COMMUNITY 

ployed or under-employed, those who cannot afford to be members, 
or members of the Armed Forces who are not allowed to join even 
an organisation like the Association. 

Some not very literate Members of Parliament, unable to answer, 
rationally, argument with argument, occasionally indulge in the 
cheap gibe that I am a nominated Member. My usual reply is that 
the interrupters, even if they traverse several incarnations, would 
never represent their constituencies as I do. I point out that, m 
fact, I am the only member of Parliament with an All-India consti- 
tuency. Territorially, the extent of my constituency is contermin- 
ous with the Country. The All-India Anglo-Indian Association has 
a network of over 70 branches spreading from Delhi to Qjiilon and 
again from Bombay to Shillong. 

The Association does give guidance to its members during the 
general elections. For the nominations of Anglo-Indians to the 
Legislatures, under Articles 331 and 333 of the Constitution, the 
Association elects or selects its nominees. There is a careful, elabor- 
ate procedure. The nominees for Parliament are elected. For the 
State Legislatures the nominees are selected by the Governing Body 
of the Association which ensures both the capacity and the repre- 
sentative character of the candidates. 

And, yet, the Association is not a political organisation. This 
has been recognised by the Government since the inception of the 
Association and civilian Government servants are permitted to be 
members. It is recognised that the Association is a source of stabi- 
lity in times of crisis, especially during strikes. Over and over again 
at the call of the Association, Anglo-Indian government servants, 
whether in the Railways or the Telegraphs, have come to the rescue 
of the Administration, Essentially, the functions of the Associa- 
tion are to look af